PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden is asking 15 countries for asylum, according to a Russian official

PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden is asking 15 countries for asylum, according to a Russian official ...

Edward Snowden, the man that blew the whistle on the NSA’s and GCHQ’s widespread internet surveillance activities is seeking asylum in 15 different countries, a Russian official said.

According to the LA Times, the Russian Foreign Ministry official said that Snowden met with a diplomatic official on Monday and handed them an appeal covering 15 countries. The names of the countries on the list, including Russia, weren’t named in the report, though.

“It was a desperate measure on his part after Ecuador disavowed his political protection credentials,” said the official, speaking to the LA Times on condition of anonymity.

The meeting apparently took place at the Sheremetyevo International Airport where Snowden is said to be taking refuge while trying to work out a route to Ecuador or another country that might grant him asylum status.

Former NSA analyst Snowden is notoriously known as the man that revealed intricate details of a widespread and incredibly detailed Internet surveillance programme just a few weeks ago. The scheme, it later transpired, had been augmented by the work of GCHQ in the UK, which had been spying on Internet activity by tapping the cables where they enter the country.

Snowden had been hoping to head to Ecuador, sharpish, but on Friday his chances of getting there looked slimmer as talks reportedly cooled owing to President Rafael Correa’s irritation with WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange, according to the Guardian. Assange is currently holed up in the country’s London embassy after being granted asylum there. As a result, the pass that would have allowed Snowden to leave the country with minimal fuss was revoked.

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