30 October 2014
Snowden's Websites - Two Tales
Early in the process of going public with the Snowden documents there were
at least two considerations of setting up websites for public information,
one by Snowden and Micah Lee, supportonlinerights.com, in May 2013,
and another by Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda, NSAdislosures.com, in May
2014. Both websites remain registered but apparently not used to for public
now redirects to the Micah Lee article cited below:
nsadisclosures.com now redirects
which tallies Snowden documents release. This latter redirection is not by
Snowden Taught Me To Smuggle Secrets Past Incredible Danger. Now I Teach
28 October 2014
|Near the end of May , I received an anonymous and encrypted email
from an account called verax, which is Latin for truth
teller. The writer told me that he was the same person I had been in
touch with several months earlier. He had a new request.
Would I help him build a website that would launch a global petition against
|Snowden and I exchanged encrypted emails to discuss the site mockup and
the sites functionality, and he let me know a bit of what was going
on. Just wanted to provide an update on the work out here, he
emailed me on June 3. Had an extremely productive meeting with two
journalists today you may know, and will encounter a third tomorrow [Ewen
MacAskill, a Guardian reporter who joined Greenwald and Poitras at the last
moment]. After discussion, may hold off on the declaration for a few more
days to give them time to work first.
He told me his name, so that I could attach his signature to the end of the
manifesto. This was about a week before the rest of the world would learn
who he was. Using Tor, I searched the internet for Edward Snowden, but I
couldnt find anything. I checked LinkedIn, I checked Facebook, I think
I even checked Twitter, and I found nothing. Who was this guy?
|I was quite excited, especially after Greenwalds first story was
published on June 5, revealing a secret NSA program to collect massive amounts
of domestic phone data. I finally knew what Snowden was leaking.
Big news today, huh? I emailed him. How are you doing?
He responded quickly.
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013
Oh, that old thing? That could have come from anywhere..
Timing is everything on this, and we arent close to finished. Its
encouraging to see prominent civil rights organizations already calling for
change, and Im hopeful that maybe this time, things will be different.
Come Monday, people will have something to be angry about. I think that will
be the day. Please feel free to criticize the draft as much as youd
like: it needs to be something people are willing to give words to their
The next few days brought a blitz of headline-grabbing stories about NSA
surveillance from Greenwald, Poitras, and MacAskill as well as the The Washington
Posts Barton Gellman, who received documents from Snowden even though
he hadnt made the risky trip to Hong Kong. On June 9, there was another
thunderbolt: Greenwald, MacAskill, and Poitras broke the news that Edward
Snowden was their source, releasing a 12-minute interview with him in which
he explained his motivations.
|On June 13, after he had parted ways with Greenwald and Poitras and gone
underground in Hong Kong, he finally emailed me.
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013
Im still here. As you may have heard, Im on the run. Tons of
surveillance, media, and less savory teams crawling all over this place
I have a new draft for the site, but I keep revising it. Hold off on any
action for now. Im thinking something major may happen on Saturday
and give us a venue to bring this to the fore.
Thank you again for all of your help and support. Im sorry this has
become so dangerous for everyone involved, but I suppose this is precisely
what needed to be illustrated about our government. Lets hope people
reign it back in.
We never launched the website.
Place to Hide
13 May 2014
|Note this registration occurs on the same date as publication of No
Place to Hide.