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Edward Snowden Is Not Dead Despite Mysterious Tweets, Says Glenn Greenwald (inquisitr.com) 93

Saturday Slashdot reader MouseTheLuckyDog wrote:Some mysterious going ons on the web is causing people to ask if everything is alright with Edward Snowden. His last two tweets, since deleted, were a cryptic message...followed a few days later by a 64 character hex string. This combined with the recent move against torrents sites has the more conspiratorially oriented people speculating that perhaps he is dead and various agencies are slamming torrent sites to slow the spread of more Snowden leaks.
Saturday night The Inquisitr reported: The cryptic code tweets led many to believe that Snowden may have been captured or killed and the codes were the result of a "dead man's switch" designed to release if he did not check in to the computer at a certain time. However, a journalist with The Intercept that has worked with the whistleblower in the past says that Snowden is "fine," but would not elaborate further.
On Saturday Glenn Greenwald tweeted simply, "He's fine". While Snowden's first tweet was reported as "It's time," its complete text seems to suggest Snowden was gathering information for a book. "Did you work with me? Have we talked since 2013? Please recontact me securely, or talk to @bartongellman. It's time." That tweet ended with a URL that led to a tweet by Gellman. "If you have information on the work @Snowden did in the IC, help me tell it truthfully." And Saturday night Gellman also added a message on Twitter for "everyone requesting proof" that Snowden was alive. "Take a deep breath..."
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Edward Snowden Is Not Dead Despite Mysterious Tweets, Says Glenn Greenwald

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  • A cover up! (Score:5, Funny)

    by telchine ( 719345 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @01:39PM (#52660501)

    If I was dead, the first thing I'd do is get someone to tweet to say I was alive in order to cover up the fact! This is blatently a conspiracy!!!!

    • Re:A cover up! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @01:50PM (#52660555)

      And if I'd assassinated someone, I'd see if I could get a friend of theirs to claim they were still alive while I covered my tracks. There's certainly grounds for a conspiracy theory here - and the only way to avert would be for Snowden to provide some more solid evidence for his continued life. Say, a video of him reading the front page of a fresh-out newspaper. Of course some people will claim that the video really shows an impersonator, but it will quench the worst of the rumors.

    • If I was dead, the first thing I'd do is get someone to tweet to say I was alive in order to cover up the fact! This is blatently a conspiracy!!!!

      If you were dead then how and why are you asking people to tweet and cover it up?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hex string or it didn't happen!

    • It was just the key for your DVD player.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ffdae96f8dd292374a966ec8b57d9cc680ce1d23cb7072c522efe32a1a7e34b0

      But since the original tweet got deleted quickly, we cannot be sure.

      • ffdae96f8dd292374a966ec8b57d9cc680ce1d23cb7072c522efe32a1a7e34b0

        But since the original tweet got deleted quickly, we cannot be sure.

        And to think that I've been using my CAPS-lock key to type in hexadecimal software-activation keys and public keys for so many years...

        Thanks for the time-saver!

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @01:51PM (#52660559) Homepage

    Russia which is harbouring Snowden has made it illegal to use encryption unless you give them a copy of the keys used.

    So, how exactly is Snowden supposed to be conversing with others without friendly old Vlad listening in?

    • Russia which is harbouring Snowden has made it illegal to use encryption unless you give them a copy of the keys used.

      So, how exactly is Snowden supposed to be conversing with others without friendly old Vlad listening in?

      Snowden probably has diplomatic immunity, or something equivalent. He is not a 'citizen' of Russia.

    • That hex string *WAS* the key. It's the cyphertext that's unknown.
      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        The point is that the use of such is illegal in Russia today so either:
        1) Snowden is breaking Russian laws by using outlawed methods to communicate and will shortly be thrown in a Russian Jail
        2) Snowden has given copies of all his keys to the Russian Government and nothing sent-to/received from him is safe
        3) Snowden is now a Russian agent (has been all along?)

        In any case, secure/confidential communication with him is no longer possible.

        • by Boronx ( 228853 )

          "nowden is breaking Russian laws by using outlawed methods to communicate and will shortly be thrown in a Russian Jail"

          The second part doesn't necessarily follow from the first part.

          • by phayes ( 202222 )

            The only exception the Russian law gives is for agents of the state and foreign embassies. There are no other exceptions but you can go on believing that he can use outlawed methods to communicate "because you think so".

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @02:05PM (#52660615)

    He's just pining for the fjords.

  • hes just snowed in nothing to see here

  • Made ya look [slashdot.org]!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So snowden posted ffdae96f8dd292374a966ec8b57d9cc680ce1d23cb7072c522efe32a1a7e34b0 before it was removed.

  • Insurance Files Key? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigfoottoo ( 2947459 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @05:06PM (#52661369)
    Remember, back in the heat of the Snowden affair, it was rumored that he had established an insurance stash of files. And during that same time frame the existence of a hoard of Wikileaks insurance files was revealed. https://nakedsecurity.sophos.c... [sophos.com] These files files were in three traunches - 3.6GB, 49GB, and 349GB. Supposedly these were encrypted with AES256. The string posted by Snowden is 256 bits long. Has anyone tried opening the Wikileaks files with this string?
    • It sounds like he is trying to get a hold of someone. He said "did you work with me" so maybe he has someone who helped him still on the inside. It's likely either a key to something like you said or it's to prove he is who he says he is. Does he have a public key? It could be simply a message like "I am the real edward snowden" encrypted with his private key. I agree though, if anyone downloaded his encrypted dump files that trying to use that to decrypt it would be something to try.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday August 07, 2016 @05:27PM (#52661481)

    I think Snowden/Greenward/Gellman are working on a book, and these tweets were targeted at a source who was willing to confirm some of the information Snowden told Gellman for the book.

    The first message was telling that person it was time for the person to start with the interview. The person was rightfully paranoid and wanted a way to arrange a secure communication channel with Snowden or Gellman.

    So the second message was a public key saying "you'll know messages are legit because they'll be signed with this key" (so some other encrypted info about setting up a secure channel).

    Both messages were public so that no one could tell who the intended recipient was.

    When the person got the info and the secure communications got set up Snowden deleted the tweets.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Interesting key exchange protocol when the third party has no previous trusted keys. My guess to how this actually worked:

      - They transmit a GPG key (with certify and sign ability, possibly along with encryption subkeys) out of band to the third party.
      - Snowden posts some text on Twitter and then posts the signature of that text signed by the GPG key. Ideally the text would be pre-arranged, but that might be dangerous because someone could search for it.
      - Snowden and Grellman obviously already have a pre-e

  • Good indicator. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If I didn't want some guy killed or some place attacked and I could not do anything to stop my country from doing it... that is a good indicator it's time to ponder whether it is really *my* country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Snowden is like the Founding Fathers of America.
    For the people.
    The Founding Fathers were a revolutionary group, diverse in their professions and yet unified in their goal: American liberty.
    Reference:
    http://www.ourtp.org/blogs/blog/our-turning-point/personal-responsibility/2012/03/17/what-did-the-founding-fathers-want-for-america

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      Snowden is like the Founding Fathers of America.

      That's a bit harsh. Snowden has not started a war that killed a hundred thousand people.

  • An average policeman's or security officer's salary in Russia is not that impressive. So an offer of a large sum of money plus a citizenship of a rich country could theoretically buy an information leading to his capture or worse.

    Obviously Edward is not in safety at all. I would not be surprised if it ends up similar to Osama's case. It is just a matter of money and consequently resources to be invested. Money talks...
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      I would not be surprised if it ends up similar to Osama's case.

      What? Send a special forces team into Moscow and risk world war III?
      Despite what you may have seen on some shitty FX TV show, the KGB and CIA have never gone around killing people on the other's home soil. It would be a bad precedent. Then again it might be wise for Snowden to run a Geiger counter over his tea. [wikipedia.org]

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Personally, I think Snowden is safe until Vlad the Impaler decides he's no longer useful. He won't murdered but he will be exiled to an information vacuum.

  • I can understand the principle behind this, but don't see why the message(s) put out by it should be cryptic. If something bad happened to me, I'd want a clear "Help! I've been kidnapped!!" message, not some cryptic "My first is in Kiitten but not in cat..." type of thing
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't all that cryptic to anyone who can use it:

      • Snowden disappears.
      • Deadman switch posts tweets to grab attention and containing a 256-bit key
      • Torrent sides under perpetual DDoS since the tweets.
      • Torrent sites known to contain insurance files encrypted with a 256-bit key in case he disappears.

      Here's hoping it has dirt on Roswell.

  • Just speculating, but: With Linux desktops, copy&paste can be confusing, as there are usually several buffers. What if he tweeted some important secret key by accident and is now in big trouble trying to save what can be saved?

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