Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked a trove of secret documents detailing the National Security Agency’s massive online spy operations, continued his quest for political asylum this week.
As the Russian news site RT reported, Snowden indicated to the German publication Stern that he would assist Germany in investigating the NSA spying activities inside the country in exchange for political asylum.
“I have a great respect for Germany,” Snowden said. (The article was published in German and here translated via Google.) He went on to add that the U.S. wouldn’t sanction the country for granting him asylum as it would do more harm to the U.S. than to Germany.
Snowden made a similar request in an open letter to Germany back in November. The effort met with no success.
In recent days, he seems to be revamping his efforts to find permanent protection. The Stern comments come only days after Snowden asked Brazil for similar protection, to no avail.
Last week, Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who has worked with Snowden to publish many of his largest leaks, told an E.U. investigatory committee that European countries needed to begin stepping up to offer asylum.
Currently, the former intelligence contractor is living in Russia, where he has been given temporary asylum that will expire next some. While it is certainly possible he will be able to renew his request with the Russian government, the state’s various human rights violations, coupled with its poor track record with journalists, make it an ideologically precarious place for Snowden to call home.
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