Published time: July 13, 2013 01:20
Edited time: July 13, 2013 04:41
Glenn Greenwald, the blogger and journalist.(Reuters / Sergio Moraes)
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has indicated that he is willing to halt his leakage of US secrets, a condition for gaining Russian asylum, though the journalist who first published information from those leaks intends to continue.
Glenn Greenwald, a journalist working with both the British Guardian newspaper and Brazil’s O Globo, had been in direct contact with the now fugitive Snowden and coordinated with the former intelligence contractor ahead of publishing information on secret online surveillance programs.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that asylum for Snowden would be offered only under the condition that he releases no further information that could prove damaging to the US. Greenwald, however, has indicated that he would consider the intelligence provided by Snowden already in his possession fair game.
“There are many more domestic stories coming, and big ones, and soon,” Greenwald wrote in an email to Politico on Friday.
“Given everything I know, I’d be very shocked if he ever asked me that,” Greenwald told Politico when asked if he would halt publishing any sensitive information if Snowden were to ask.
“I’d deal with that hypothetical only in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happened, but I can’t foresee anything that would or could stop me from further reporting on the NSA documents I have,” he added.
On Friday, Snowden said that he would remain in Russia until able to get safe passage to Latin America, where he has been offered political asylum by Venezuela as well as Honduras. Comments made during a meeting with human rights activists at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Friday also indicated that he intended to renew a petition for asylum from Russia.
“Snowden is serious about obtaining political asylum in the Russian Federation,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a lawmaker who attended the meeting at the Moscow airport, reports The Guardian.
Most recently, Greenwald in conjunction with several reporters with O Globo published further information showing the existence of a wide array of surveillance programs tracking citizens of South American countries.
Picture released by Human Rights Watch shows US National Security Agency (NSA) fugitive leaker Edward Snowden at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, on July 12, 2013.(AFP Photo / Human Rights Watch)
O Globo cited documents this week indicating that from January to March of 2013, NSA agents carried out “spying actions” via the ‘Boundless Informant’ program, which collected telephone calls and Internet data. Agents also used PRISM from February 2 to 8 this year, O Globo said.
Essentially all of Latin America is reported to be targeted for surveillance, including Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and El Salvador. The most intense surveillance according to O Globo seems to have been directed at Colombia, a key US ally in the so-called War on Drugs, as well as Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico.
Comments by Greenwald to Politico on Friday suggest that the journalist already has a backlog of leaks to work with, and that any agreement Snowden were to make with a foreign government in regards to conditions of political asylum would be independent of Greenwald’s publication of that information.
Meanwhile, Snowden released a statement on Friday via WikiLeaks, which has orchestrated his legal defense as well as asylum petitions, to convey that he would accept all offers of political asylum made to him.
“I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future,” Snowden stated during his meeting with rights activists and lawyers at Sheremetyevo.
“I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted,” he told the meeting.