A flag for the presidential campaign of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hangs out of windows of a house in Moscow March 2, 2012. The flag reads "For Putin. And that's all."
Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, wrote a post about Edward Snowden's circumstances — reportedly sitting in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport while he prepares to live and work in Russia.
She gives a blunt assessment of the fate that lies in front of the 30-year-old American.
From The New Republic (emphasis ours):
The reality that lies before Snowden, however, is not that of a Petersburg slum or a cherry orchard. More likely, he will be given an apartment somewhere in the endless, soulless highrises with filthy stairwells that spread like fields around Moscow's periphery. He will live there for five years before he will be given citizenship. He'll likely be getting constant visits from the SVR (the Russian NSA) to mine the knowledge he carries in his brain.
That last sentence there is key: The 10,000 classified NSA files Snowden stashed all over the world are highly encrypted, so the data is most likely safe (for now) even if a foreign intelligence service acquired it.
But Snowden's head is not encrypted. He is an NSA-trained hacker who "carefully read" 10,000 classified NSA files and knows his way around NSA interviews, and then managed to land in the hands of Russian intelligence.
— John Schindler (@20committee) June 25, 2013
But then, after staying in Hong Kong for a month, he flew to the place that would value his expertise more than any other country. (The reasons for his travel path are still unclear.)
"There's little evidence from historical records that [Snowden] has anything good to look forward to," Peter Savodnik, a journalist and author of the book, "The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union," told NPR. "Essentially, nobody from the U.S. who has defected to Russia has gone on to think that's a smart decision."
One thing i s becoming obvious: If Mother Russia is able to start mining the knowledge in Snowden's brain, then she will have a field day.
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