I am simply reposting the following from The Guardian in the UK because it is important. This is not something I will normally do. It appears that the White House petition to pardon Snowden is still active, and it now has 130,000 signatures. If you are an American (you need to be) I would urge you to sign this.
And here is the latest from Snowden about how the NSA, CIA, FBI is scooping up your Microsoft Outlook, Skype, etc communications with the active cooperation of the software firms. I reiterate my suggestion to try DuckDuckGo as a search alternative to Google.
The Guardian’s excellent live coverage is here. This will also link you through to a live Russian TV feed from Moscow airport if you are reading this soon after I wrote it.
Mr Obama, you are starting to get yourself on the wrong side of history.
Here, via The Guardian’s live coverage from Moscow, is the quote from Snowden today that I like:
<Snowden is saying he wants to remain in Russia and travel, and he wants international organisations to petition the US and EU not to interfere with that.
Referring to Putin’s condition that he can only stay if he stops harming the US, Snowden apparently has said: “No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US … I want the US to succeed.”
[Snowden] seems to be saying that the only way he can guarantee his safety where he is now, before he heads to Latin America, is to gain temporary asylum in Russia… Ellen Barry of the New York Times reports that Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, who is in the meeting, says Snowden has said he has received offers from Venezuela, Russia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador. He thanks them. He says he accepts all offers, present and future. The offer from Venezuela has been made formally. He wants help in guaranteeing his safe passage to Latin America, she says. He will submit an asylum claim to Russia today, but he plans to go to Latin America eventually, she says.>
Edward Snowden: US officials are preventing me claiming asylum
NSA whistleblower calls meeting with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at Sheremetyevo airport
The NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has said US officials are waging a campaign to prevent him from taking up asylum offers as he called a meeting in Moscow airport with human rightsgroups.
In a letter sent to groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the former intelligence agency contractor claimed there was “an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy … asylum under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and invited them to meet him at 5pm local time.
“The scale of threatening behaviour is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign president’s plane to effect a search for a political refugee,” he wrote to the groups.
“This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution.”
Reuters quoted an airport official as saying Snowden would meet the groups on Friday afternoon in the transit area of Sheremetyevo, where he has remained since flying to Russia from Hong Kong on 23 June.
The 30-year-old former NSA employee is trying to negotiate asylum elsewhere to avoid facing charges in the US, including espionage, for divulging details about US electronic surveillance programmes.
“I can confirm that such a meeting will take place,” an airport spokeswoman said.
Reuters said Amnesty and Transparency International had been invited to meet Snowden, with the former confirming it would attend.
Sergei Nikitin, the head of Amnesty International Russia, said: “Yes, I have received a brief email. It said that he would like to meet with a representative of a human rights organisation – there was not much information there. I’m planning to go.”
Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch confirmed she had been invited to the meeting and posted Snowden’s letter on Facebook.
In the emailed letter – which Lokshina said she could not independently verify as coming from Snowden – the former intelligence worker said he had been “extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support and asylum from brave countries around the world”. He added: “These nations have my gratitude, and I hope to travel to each of them to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.
“Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum.”
The email ends with an invitation for rights groups to meet him at the airport at 5pm (2pm BST).
Snowden is still believed to be weighing up his options. Late on Thursday, Venezuela’s foreign minister said the country had yet to receive a formal response to its offer of asylum.
“We communicated last week. We made an offer and so far we haven’t received a reply,” Elias Jaua told Reuters during a regional foreign ministers’ meeting in Uruguay.
Venezuela is one of three countries to offer asylum to Snowden, along with Bolivia and Nicaragua.
In a separate email to Reuters, Snowden confirmed that the meeting with human rights groups would go ahead but said it would be closed to the press. He said he planned to speak to the media later.
The letter told the groups to bring identification and meet at 4.30pm at Sheremetyevo airport in Terminal F, “in the centre of the arrival hall [where] someone from airport staff will be waiting there to receive you with a sign labelled G9”.