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article imageGreenwald: Snowden files are safe should anything happen to him

By Anne Sewell     Jun 26, 2013 in World
Journalist Glenn Greenwald told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that a trove of classified documents supplied to The Guardian has been copied, encrypted and shared around with several people worldwide, in case something happens to Edward Snowden.
If something should happen, these documents would then be released to the public eye.
Greenwald is the reporter from the Guardian who first began publishing the NSA documents earlier in June after meeting with former intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.
In an interview with journalist Eli Lake from The Daily Beast, Greenwald said that arrangements had been made to ensure that encrypted copies of the information supplied by Snowden has been given to other people around the globe.
He said that Snowden “has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published,” adding that the files are “highly encrypted” and corresponding passwords to render them readable have not yet been distributed.
According to the Daily Beast, Greenwald told them that, “if anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives.”
Greenwald has previously stated that Snowden had provided him with the archives of "thousands" of documents, dozens of which he considered to be newsworthy.
Greenwald stated that in their dealings, Snowden was adamant that he and his newspaper go through the document and only publish what served the public’s right to know.
“Snowden himself was vehement from the start that we do engage in that journalistic process and we not gratuitously publish things,” Greenwald said. “I do know he was vehement about that. He was not trying to harm the U.S. government; he was trying to shine light on it.”
Greenwald further said that “He was very insistent he does not want to publish documents to harm individuals or blow anyone’s undercover status,” adding that Snowden told him, “Leaking CIA documents can actually harm people, whereas leaking NSA documents can harm systems.”
Those documents released so far by The Guardian and attributed to Snowden have generated international headlines and responses from presidential administrations worldwide, including both Russia and China. Awkward relations have grown between the US and other countries.
There is currently an international manhunt on for Snowden, and the US unsealed an indictment against him on Friday. However, the US has been unable to extradite him back to the country where he is to face charges of espionage.
As reported on Digital Journal, Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin did state that Snowden is currently in the transit area of the airport in Moscow and that Russia would not extradite him.
WikiLeaks has advised that Snowden was seeking asylum from Ecuador, Iceland and perhaps other countries.
In a conference call on Monday, Julian Assange said, “We are aware of where Mr. Snowden is.”
“He is in a safe place and his spirits are high. Due to the bellicose threats coming from the US administration we cannot go into further detail at this time.”
Relations are strained as the US is angry with Hong Kong for failing to comply with what the US considers a lawful arrest, and mad with Russia, as they will also not cooperate with attempts for extradition.
However, a stronger relationship, that between Snowden and Greenwald, has surfaced in recent days.
Politicians and the press have been discussing the possibility of charging Greenwald with publishing the classified documents, and Greenwald told The Daily Beast that he’s likely having his every move watched by Washington.
“I would be shocked if the US government were not trying to access the information on my computer,” Greenwald said. “I carry my computers and data with me everywhere I go.”
Greenwald explained in his interview with Lake that there was one potential lapse which could have led to losing the information.
“When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents,” Greenwald said. “I did not end up doing it. Two days later his laptop was stolen from our house and nothing else was taken. Nothing like that has happened before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.”
Meanwhile, the video at the top of this article gives an idea of the views of both politicians and the media on the Snowden story.
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