Edward Snowden is now formally a Russian

Originally published at: Edward Snowden is now formally a Russian | Boing Boing


Imagine how bad things have to be going in your life that becoming a Russian citizen in 2022 is your best available option.


Well, he’ll probably get a mandatory vacation to Ukraine soon. That should be fun?


Snowden probably has too much value as a propaganda piece for Putin to risk letting him get killed in an already-disastrous war. Which isn’t to say that Snowden is in a safe or enviable position within Russia either.


I do think what Snowden initially revealed about the NSA was brave and helped everyone.

I consider Snowden repulsive as a personality but I definitely appreciate his actions.
(a reminder of how he was viewed a decade ago)

It’s a shame that the U.S. has so many problems admitting its own (ongoing) bad behavior that we force exile on these people to become a useful pawn for other places.


Compared to Julian Assange he’s an absolute pillar of selfless principle and civility.


Ha. Indeed!


Care to elaborate? I’ve never seen anything that would lead me to this opinion of him.


All that planning and opsec and this is how it ends up. He would have been better off going Kurtz in SE Asia.


Thanks for asking. I’m inclined to search for an appropriate video or link from that time, but really it’s just a perception issue from that era. I suppose it’s memory of seeing it unfold in real time. It was an evolved observation, via the more public he became once he was a public figure. His mind started to balloon noticeably and the personal motivations on why he did what he did became less clear.

The bigger point is regardless of my view of his characteristics as a person, I value what he did. I think it takes a certain personality to do what he did and I forgive it. But ‘repulsive’ in my book usually is: narcissistic and sticky.

Ignoring that, though: Amnesty would be a good thing for him. I’m for a full Daniel Ellsberg treatment and reassessment.


Thanks for clarifying! I can’t really fault him for coming across in any particular way, given what he’s gone through. I totally respect your nuanced take on him, though.


Cheers! I appreciate the push for clarity, too. Genuine regards. :slight_smile:


He’s perfectly safe until he’s no longer useful.


I dunno that forced exile is really the dynamic here. Snowden ran immediately. He didn’t even try to avail himself of whistle blower protections or legal means.

Whether you believe (as I do for the most part) or not. That what he did was ethical, handled properly, and should have and maybe would have passed legal muster in the end.

He did break a bunch of laws and rules. There were going to be investigations and probably charges of some sort.

That he immediately went to China, went to Russia, tried to get to Ecuador. Raises all sorts of red flags, there’s zero chance that wouldn’t trigger the response from authorities it triggered.


That’s where I’m at .

I’m not saying he’s a russian agent.

But he’s most definitely a Russian agent’s asset.


Which, regardless of anything else, I absolutely wouldn’t blame anyone for.


Snowden is a smart guy. I think he’s smart enough not to try the same shenanigans against Russia.

I think you’re right and there’s an open window in his house just waiting him to trip out of if he says the wrong thing.


Yeah, I’m conflicted. I appreciate what he did in exposing what was going on under our noses with citizen surveillance in the USA and taking a principled stance on it, but I also think he became reactionary in ways that were profoundly negative (the “oh it doesn’t matter who you vote for in this 2016 election, so vote for randos” tweet, among others). Now he’s painted himself into a corner.

Maybe he got what he deserved, maybe we all get what we deserve in the end.


I don’t think that’s a completely fair take. He went to Hong Kong, not mainland China, which is an important distinction because of the international travel rights at the time. He got stuck in Moscow en route to Ecuador because it exposed him to the least risk from extradition agreements during layovers. From the beginning he said he would be happy to face public trial, but the reality is that he would have faced a FISA court, which would have happened completely in the dark. (from here on, this is not in response to your comment @Ryuthrowsstuff)

I’ll admit, I’m a total Snowden Stan and unapologetic for it. I was still officially a service member when 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq happened and it felt like such a hurtful insult to the military and intel communities to be manipulated by an ignoramus failson into such pointless death. I truly believe that Snowden felt that deeply and also felt the same sense of disillusionment I did at the time. He just happened to be empowered to expose the bullshit and took advantage of it.

He’s made clear numerous times that he did not choose to end up in Moscow, but the fact is that he and his wife are protected there, unlike in his homeland. The homeland he swore to protect and did under the most dire circumstances.

He’s not a Russian. He’s an American and should be honored with safe return and the respect he deserves.


Yes, he IS a Russian. That’s part of the deal. That’s what he’s accepted and became. That was what he asked Putin for, personally. I believe he has also renounced his American citizenship as part of that process, but am uncertain on that because I don’t believe Putin to be truthful.

You can like what Snowden did in exposing things but still admit that right now, he’s helping Putin. Willingly or otherwise, Putin’s got the data, and Snowden getting the state stipend from Russia and the Russian bride and the Russian citizenship certainly looks like a quid pro quo.