Snowden’s Cryptic Tweet Triggers Media Storm

Whistleblower Has Gone Silent Since Bizarre Coded Message

Edward Snowden eyes graffiti
Edward Snowden eyes graffiti Photo credit: thierry ehrmann / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
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Calling Edward Snowden. Please check in.

The blogosphere is currently running wild with speculation regarding the world-famous exiled whistleblower’s whereabouts since a mysterious Tweet to his 2.3 million followers was sent out from @Snowden on Friday evening.

In 2013, Snowden, the 33-year-old former NSA contractor, released a trove of top secret documents chronicling unflattering US surveillance tactics, and instantly became one of the Western world’s most wanted men. Soon after the leak, he fled to Russia, where he was granted asylum.

The Friday Tweet, a 64-character code that was deleted less than an hour after it was posted, is what some are calling a “dead man’s switch” — a password to encrypted material that is automatically sent out when a person does not contact trusted associates after a certain period of time. It’s thought of as a safeguard, discouraging assassination or kidnap attempts on whistleblowers. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is known to use a “dead man’s switch” before major releases on his site.

Edward Snowden, Tweet

Photo credit: Edward Snowden / Twitter

The coded Tweet in question followed one from a few days earlier on Snowden’s account, asking “Did you work with me? Have we talked since 2013? Please recontact me securely. It’s time.” That Tweet too has been deleted.

Snowden has not Tweeted since Friday and has not made any public statements since. But there is no indication that he is missing. Indeed, multiple associates insist the exiled 33-year-old is safe. However, the timing of the cryptic messages is curious, and indications are mounting that they are related to an imminent release of new leaked material.

Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald said Sunday that Snowden is “fine,” but has yet to provide further detail.

Reporter and author Barton Gellman, currently working on a book about Snowden, also assured the public that Snowden is OK.

Perhaps coincidentally, the Snowden mystery is playing out just as multiple torrent sites have been taken down this week. BitTorrent technology is used to distribute files over the Internet that have been characterized as “pirated,” due to copyright issues and concerns about end-user liability.

Until Snowden makes a statement, doubts about his safety will continue to mount..

Below is WhoWhatWhy’s piece on Snowden from June 2015:

Edward Snowden: Vindicated by the USA Freedom Act? Or Marked for Death?

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

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13 responses to “Snowden’s Cryptic Tweet Triggers Media Storm”

  1. Paul Wilson says:

    Don’t have your Eyes Wide Shut.

    Have you considered the name Greenwald chose for his new well-funded venture? THE INTERCEPT. Specifically, Greenwald left THE GUARDIAN to start THE INTERCEPT.

    Would your rather have an INTERCEPTOR of Truth or a GUARDIAN of Truth?

    My understanding of those two words: INTERCEPT (divert something from its intended target); GUARDIAN (Protector)

    Greenwald surely intercepted from Snowden. And now is strategically weeding through it.

    That smells bad. Greenwald potentially dirtied it up by joining the leaked data to Pierre Omidyar for a price. According to Sibel Edmonds and James Corbett, approximately $250 million.

    Should whistleblowers be paid? Probably but without condition and without any strings attached. I am curious if Pierre Omidyar attached conditions.

    Matt Damon’s movie ‘Promised Land speaks directly to the fact that ‘divide and conquer’ (playing both sides) is effective in accomplishing almost any agenda.

  2. MrLiberty says:

    Honestly though…whatever his “revelation” might be, does anyone honestly think that things would suddenly change in the US? If both major parties were shown irrefutably to be in league with all-powerful secret societies, the ruling elite of the economic and political sector, etc. against the interests of the American people, our economy, and our liberties, do you think people would rise up and demand change?

    It would be great if Snowden and former colleagues have some seriously damaging revelations in store that implicate both major parties that are destroying this country, but I fear that such revelations, like the NSA, etc. revelations, will simply get put to the back burner, never to be cared about again.

    Meanwhile ratings for America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and the rest will continue to rise. Ooo look – another story about the Kardashians…gotta go.

    • eric peacock says:

      you are SO right.
      as long as the sheeple have their drive thru fast food, and “reality” shows, and their daily comforts do not appear to be diminished, nothing will be done.
      by the time it gets to the point where the masses wake up and realize they should do something, it will be too late.
      in short, we are screwed.

    • Paul Wilson says:

      Right now Sibel Edmonds describes it as Boiling Frogs. It will be Boiled the Frogs.

    • SIU1968 says:

      For the Romans it was bread and circuses. For us it’s government benefits – and reality shows.

    • Floridatexan says:

      Government benefits, my a**. It’s corruption, plain and simple. And much of that can be attributed to dark money in politics.

    • MrLiberty says:

      Indeed. I think Floridatexan is missing your point (and mine too). It truly is the government benefits, and that reality shows are keeping the bulk of the populace distracted from the lies and corruption that are right in front of their faces. Dark money, crony capitalism, the ruling elite, etc. are all part of the heart of the problem (which ultimately stems from the fact that we allow government to have power over us in the first place), but the payoffs to the booboisee are the things that keep them blindly loyal to their parties – even in the face of war crimes, illegal wars, corruption, vote-rigging, cronyism, etc. (both parties included…obviously).

    • Floridatexan says:

      It’s not “both major parties”. It’s the GOP.

    • MrLiberty says:

      ALL the evidence points to BOTH major parties. If you can’t see the truth of the democrats, you aren’t looking hard enough or you are too emotionally attached to your poor choices and alliances. Just look at the donors to Hillary’s campaign or the Clinton Foundation if you need to start re-educating yourself.

  3. bamage says:

    Did you really DELETE my comment regarding your mischaracterization of the reason Snowden is in Russia? LOL. I used to think this site had some integrity, and donate occasionally. Not any more… “Truth to Power” my ass!

    • Jeff Clyburn says:

      when did you post it? …. posts need to be approved, and that happens when the site mod can get to it. Patience.

    • bamage says:

      Bit earlier. Apologies if I flew off the handle “prematurely”. Sensitive topic for me when sites I generally rely upon for accurate info promulgate something I know to be false.

    • Comments editor says:

      The earlier post to which you refer was not deleted, nor is it being held in moderation. Jeff Clyburn is correct, however, in his statement about delays between posting and the post appearing on the site.

      I have searched all the comments – approved, pending, and deleted, there is no record of the post to which you refer. I have no idea why this is, but I can send you a screenshot that shows your comments record on this site. There are only 2.

      In the meantime, you are invited to re-submit your original comment.

    • bamage says:

      Hey, I appreciate it. Technical glitch perhaps. My comment only referred to the verbiage that Snowden “fled to Russia”. That is a complete mischaracterization. He was stranded in Russia enroute to [elsewhere] when the US revoked his passport, as the author should have known.

    • Jeff Clyburn says:

      The author does know. But don’t you think you’re nitpicking just a bit? He absolutely fled to Russia from Hong Kong. Even the NYT words it that way in it’s June 24, 2013, story on the matter. While his ultimate destination may have been Ecuador, it’s not wrong that he fled, and was granted asylum in Russia.

    • bamage says:

      Wait, I’m the one who is nitpicking? Read your last sentence to me. Then consider the meaning of “fled TO Russia”. So you consciously meant to infer some sort of Snowden affinity for Russia? You deliberately chose to selectively elide the portion of the story where the US revokes his passport? Or that he was enroute to Ecuador? Instead you inferred, no wait, outright STATED that he “fled TO Russia”? FFs, c’mon.

      But thanks for clearing that up for me. What I had hoped was a result of simple ignorance turns out to have been willful misrepresentation. I’d hoped for better from this site. Oh well, live/learn.

    • Jeff Clyburn says:

      That’s because he did flee to Russia from Hong Kong. That’s an undeniable fact. You’re the one INFERRING that I’m somehow suggesting that was his preferred destination. Meanwhile, his passport was annulled before he left Hong Kong, not after he arrived in Russia, and Wikileaks admitted they bought his ticket to Russia and provided legal advice. … I’m sorry the blog wasn’t comprehensive enough for you as to be worthy of a Wikipedia entry, but I didn’t feel the well-known Snowden adventure required another full accounting of the events to soothe readers like yourself. I felt a short bit of background was all that was needed for what was really all about a new development, not his agenda in June of 2013. There’s a lot I had to “leave out.” I wasn’t contracted for a 10,000-word expose.

    • bamage says:

      Also, not to impose, but would you mind actually deleting my mini-rant? I don’t want to go off on you folks unjustifiably.

    • Comments editor says:

      No problem – and thanks.