WikiLeaks helping Edward Snowden in race to find ‘safe’ country, Ecuador likely destination

Edward-Snowden-poseEdward Snowden, the former CIA employee wanted by US authorities on charges of espionage and theft of government property, is receiving assistance from the folks behind whistleblowing site WikiLeaks as he attempts to make it to a ‘safe’ country before the US intelligence agencies make it to him.

Snowden, the man at the center of what many consider to be the most significant intelligence leak in US history, arrived in Moscow on Sunday after flying from Hong Kong, the location of his media interviews that revealed details of the National Security Agency’s top secret PRISM program involving the systematic surveillance of telephone calls and Internet communications.

The 30-year-old whistleblower told the Guardian and Washington Post the NSA has “direct access” to the servers of Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, though these companies have said that any passing of information between them and the government is always done within the framework of existing laws, and that no such “back door” access is possible.

‘Providing assistance’

On its Twitter feed Sunday, WikiLeaks said it was providing assistance to Snowden in his quest to find a ‘safe’ country.

“WikiLeaks has assisted Mr. Snowden’s political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers and safe exit from Hong Kong,” the tweet said.

It’s believed Snowden will depart Russia Monday afternoon Moscow time on a flight bound for Cuba, with Ecuador likely to be his final destination – if the US fails to disrupt plans. A tweet on Sunday from Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, confirmed that his government had received an asylum request from Snowden, with WikiLeaks adding that the request would be dealt with upon his arrival in the country. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has already been granted asylum by the Latin American nation, though he’s currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London fearing deportation to Sweden – and possibly ultimately to the US – if he steps outside the building.

The US issued a provisional arrest warrant for the former Hawaii resident on Friday, and asked authorities in Hong Kong to detain him. However, Hong Kong said that after finding the US request to be incomplete there had been no legal basis to keep Snowden in the Chinese territory, and so allowed him to leave.

According to US Senator Charles Schumer, Snowden’s flight to Moscow was probably known about and approved of by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“Putin always seems almost eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States – whether it’s Syria, Iran and now of course with Snowden,” the New York Democrat told CNN. He also said he saw “the hand of Beijing” in Hong Kong’s decision to let the former CIA technician leave despite America’s request to detain him.

[Source: BBC, Reuters]


Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

The worst day ever. We say farewell and offer a fond remembrance for Grumpy Cat, the internet's most famous frowning feline, meme and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Exceptionally even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Movies & TV

Tired of Netflix? Here's where to find free movies online, legally

We've spent countless hours digging around the web to find the best sites for streaming free movies online. Not only are all of these sites completely free to use, they're also completely legal and trustworthy.

Gmail logs your purchase history, undermining Google’s commitment to privacy

Google has tried to portray itself as privacy-focused. But a new report shows Google tracks many of your online purchases, even if they are bought from a non-Google affiliated store like Amazon.

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk thinks Starlink satellite internet could be online before 2021

Elon Musk's ultra-ambitious Starlink space internet project may take until November 2027 to be fully operational. However, some level of service could be offered as soon as next year.