Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor that released documents about the agency’s Prism program, has stashed encrypted backups of his documents all over the world. The news of Snowden’s extreme precautions comes from Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist that wrote the initial story about Prism and helped Snowden sort through the documents as they determined what would be published.
News of Snowden’s backups is particularly crucial right now, as he travels from nation to nation in an attempt to avoid extradition to and prosecution by the United States government. Since Greenwald’s story was published, it has been revealed that Snowden has been staying in Hong Kong before he moved to Moscow, Iceland, and currently Ecuador. In interviews, Snowden has acknowledged that he is fearful for his own life, and made claims that even if “anything happened,” the information he has acquired about the NSA would ultimately be released.
Speaking with the Daily Beast, Greenwald discussed the documents that Snowden took from the NSA, and claimed that as a precautionary measure against his own imprisonment or death, Snowden created several copies which are encrypted and securely stored in various locations around the world. Greenwald said that the people who possess the files can’t yet access them, due to the encryption, but that passwords to the files will be revealed if anything happens to Snowden.
The U.S. government is currently scrambling to get their hands on the files in an attempt to assess just what is contained in them, and Greenwald, who had access to Snowden’s files when working on the story, has already had one of his laptops stolen. “Nothing like that happened to me before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.”
It is believed that Snowden’s encrypted files contain thousands of documents relating to the U.S. intelligence community’s practices.
Image Credit: Glenn Greenwald via Wikipedia