Can this “patriot” hacker derail Snowden’s asylum plans?

A hacker known as the Jester has attempted to stop Venezuela from offering Edward Snowden asylum by threatening to leak documents that would implicate some of the country’s government officials in the illegal drug trade.

As reported by Mother Jones, the Jester hacked a popular Venezuelan news site, El Nacional, Tuesday, posting a letter that read, “Dearest Venezuelan government … WTF amigos.” 

In the letter, the Jester seemed to imply that he was either in possession of or had access to information that would implicate “corrupt [Venezuelan] government officials” in “drug trafficking and little things like that.” He insinuated that he would publish this information on El Nacional against the newspaper’s will.

It’s unclear whether there is any credibility to this particular threat. The letter was not posted on El Nacional’s homepage. It appears instead to be accessible only to those who know its specific Web address. 

However, the hacker has a history of similar projects. Recently, he launched a denial-of-service attack against the Bolivian vice president’s website after the county offered asylum to Snowden. 

“He’s not a fucking ‘whistleblower,’ he’s a traitor,” the Jester wrote of Snowden on his website. “There are procedures he could have followed that are designed specifically to protect the blower of the whistle, and none of them include running to the Chinese with FOUR laptops and a USB stick full of sensitive government information.”

The Jester offered no corroborating evidence or further details on the information he may be planning to leak. “I would … ask that you reconsider your stance on this small but volatile matter before anything weird starts happening,” he wrote. “Who knows.” 

Photo by Library and Archives Canada/Flickr

Joe Kloc

Joe Kloc

Joe Kloc is a former Daily Dot contributor who covered technology and policy. He's contributed to Newsweek and Mother Jones, discussed his reporting on air with WNYC, and written Weekly Reviews for Harper's Magazine.