Who is Edward Snowden? I have no idea, and the media and bloggers don't seem all that interested. All I know is he was a data analyst contracting at the NSA. He was only in his current job for 3 months, and dumped the data he had access to and promptly fled to Hong Kong. Hong Kong is "Special Administrative Region" of China, meaning a place where Beijing pulls all the puppet strings. He has since disappeared, not likely without the secret police knowing his whereabouts. So where is he, and who has him now? I have no idea, and neither do you, and nobody seems to care too much.
Today I'm seeing people calling Snowden a hero or a traitor, but they are missing the bigger question. Who the hell is this guy? How did he get a crypto clearance as a contractor, and where did he get this clearance before working at his last job at the NSA? This sort of clearance takes upwards of a year to receive, if you get one at all from the DoD. They don't just hand these out. I have a clearance that is somewhat lower than the one to deal with NSA data and it took 9 months, so he must have been employed by the DoD or CIA in some way prior to his last assignment. Why are no journalists looking in to this guys background? This is a big deal, and nobody seems to care.
Next question, is why did Snowden chose Hong Kong for refuge? This is not exactly the bastion of free speech and democracy. I don't know and apparently the media doesn't seem to care enough to pursue that question too much. There are many other countries closer to home that do not have extradition treaties with the United Stated and are far less hostile to us where he could have taken flight. Is he a Chinese agent? Is he hoping to get the big bucks for turning over information to the Chinese? Still nobody knows.
So now Snowden has turned up missing in Hong Kong. A high level visitor, and he could not make a move there without the secret police knowing his whereabouts. So, where is he and who has him? These are things the media ought to be pursuing rather than trying to pass judgement on the guy before all the facts are known.
This is indeed a strange story, but the real questions are not being asked.
Update: After reading his interview at the South China Daily Post I'm thinking that Snowden is a bullshitter. He wasn't at the NSA to get the data he claims he has, unless he is a hacking genius, and he is talking too much to the press without revealing anything. Ok he is in hiding supposedly. Are the ChiComs protecting him or laughing at him? A contractor just does not get access to data that Snowden claims he has after just 3 months, or at least is did not used to be that way.
It will be interesting to see when the US sues in Hong Kong for his extradition, and the Chinese response.
If he ends up in China he will be a useful idiot for awhile and then sent to the rice fields of Harbin province to feed the rural peasants or more likely managing an Apple manufacturing facility.