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5 March 2015. A8 sends:

The Yubikey on the video-extracted picture matches the “Basic Standard” model, not the “Neo” in particular. The copper button has a different logo in the center. See

4 March 2015. Add photo of Snowden wearing the neck chain in earliest interview.

A7 sends: A6 is incorrect, the YubiKey NEO can do OpenPGP and lots of other things... U2F, OTP etc.

A6 sends:

Re.: the Pink 'Device' that A3 was asking about.


It's a pink notebook, "la Moleskine." You can make out staples in the spine and the slightly fanned-out pages on the right corner.

Also, that IS a Yubikey. The dot in the middle of the touchpad identifies it as the 'Standard' key. It's doesn't 'do' PGP, it is simply used to store static passwords or to generate one-time passwords (based on the key's serial number). The beauty of Yubikeys is that to the computer, they look like a keyboard so don't need any software to run for them to work.

My guess is that Mr. Snowden was using the Yubikey to store a static password/passphrase or more likely part of a static password (it would be the "something you have") and Mr. Snowden typing the rest of the password from memory ("something you know").

2 March 2015. There appears to be a device attached to Snowden's neck chain, partly hidden by the dongle, perhaps a security device. Snowden is shown wearing the chain in the first day of the sessions.

What happened to the devices: destroyed, sanitized, stored, copied? Snowden claims no documents taken to Russia. Barton Gellman later reported on meeting with Snowden in Moscow:

"He declined to discuss the whereabouts of the files, but he said that he is confident he did not expose them to Chinese intelligence in Hong Kong. And he said he did not bring them to Russia. “There’s nothing on it,” he said, turning his laptop screen toward his visitor. “My hard drive is completely blank.”

The Washington Post (2013-12-17). NSA Secrets: Government Spying in the Internet Age (Kindle Locations 235-238). Diversion Books. Kindle Edition.

Nothing about the removable storage devices nor what devices were used to exchange files among the parties reporting, handling, archiving.

A tweets: The dongle looks like YubiKey from Youbico running OpenPGP applet an OTP

A2 tweets: The chip Snowden inserts, "It's a pendrive with a copy of the Tails OS sent to Greenwald by Micah Lee. More info

A3 asks what is the flat, pink device under the chain and corkscrew?

A4 notes the lock.

A5 notes the "chips" are SD cards.

1 March 2015

Snowden Hong Kong Security Devices

Clip from Citizenfour at 36:05 in Hong Kong shows Snowden's three memory chips, two USBs and a security dongle.

00:23:52 Snowden wearing neck chain.

Clips from Citizenfour, 36:47 to 38:13, appear to show Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong taking a memory chip from a certified mail envelope, giving it to Snowen who inserts the chip into Greenwald's laptop, then covers head to decrypt. Curious, the mailing of an encrypted chip of highly classified data, unless the envelope is reused from another purpose.