The NSA leaker will be taking questions via Twitter for a Webcast Q&A session on Thursday. Crave’s Eric Mack has five questions for Edward Snowden that have been eating away at him and have little to do with the NSA.
January 22, 2014 8:06 AM PST
How is this dude not losing his mind, like, every day?
(Credit: Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)
The world’s most famous former intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden, is scheduled to answer questions posted on Twitter in an hour-long Webcast on Thursday.
The session is set to begin at 12 p.m. PT on the site FreeSnowden.is, and the National Security Agency whistleblower is almost certain to address questions about what he’s helped reveal so far and about President Obama’s speech on the issue last week.
You can pose questions on Twitter via the #AskSnowden hashtag. I, for one, certainly have questions.
Snowden has become a worldwide celebrity — a hero to some and a traitor to others — in less than a year. That’s got to really screw with your daily routine. So here are five questions I’d like answered by Snowden that are about the man himself and what it’s been like to be Edward Snowden for the past year:
1. How do you stay sane? After revealing the omnipresent powers of the global intelligence system, you’ve certainly become a key target for the same system. That seems like a pretty high-stress situation. How do you chill out? Is it a routine of constant distraction, presumably playing Tetris on an ancient monochrome Game Boy with absolutely no on-board storage or communications capability? Or do you pass the time reading all the comments about you on every site on the Internet and then crying into a bowl of butter pecan ice cream? No wait, that’s me. I’d recommend staying away from the Internet, but then, you probably already figured that one out.
2. What the heck were you doing in the Moscow airport all that time? News reports made it seem that you were hanging out in a corner of the arrivals lounge at the Russian airport for weeks on end. Yet, strangely, no one seemed able to grab many photos or videos of you.
This is particularly weird since that entire country grabbed video of a meteor that flashed across the sky for just a few seconds. Were you locked in a broom closet or what? I bet you memorized every edition of the Economist sold at the concourse newsstand during those weeks.
3. How do you hide secret troves of data from the spy agency you took them from? I think about this a lot. You’ve got all this data taken from the NSA, and a clear strategy to leak it slowly in little bits through the media every few weeks or so.
A significant chunk of NSA resources must be dedicated to trying to get that data back, or at least figure out how many places it’s hidden in. Presumably it’s under lock and key with trusted people in a number of redundant places worldwide, but I’m betting there’s at least one copy in a totally crazy place — the ultimate backup. Somewhere they’d never look. I suggest on a DVD marked “‘National Treasure,’ starring Nicholas Cage.”
4. How do you communicate? When not making special Webcast appearances, how do you communicate on a daily basis with other humans, especially when it comes to discussing leaks, legal strategy, etc.? Given your high profile, it seems like only passing handwritten notes in code or telepathy would work. Or do you know of some loophole to evade the surveillance state? If yes, please confirm by having one of your associates order a chili cheese dog with extra onions from Stall No. 6 at the Sonic drive-in in Taos, N.M., before tomorrow. Thank you.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years? You must have the most interesting answer to this of any interviewee I can think of who isn’t a character on “Quantum Leap.” Will you be in prison or a secret “black site”? Will you be home, working a gig as a TV commentator after being granted clemency? Will you be on a beach in Ecuador with Julian Assange? Taking in North Korean basketball games with Dennis Rodman? Wherever it is, I’ll be shocked if you’re not writing a book from there. I just hope, for your sake, that Ashton Kutcher doesn’t play you in the movie version.