As Edward Snowden celebrated his Fourth of July in Moscow yesterday (or, maybe didn’t celebrate, what with the whole being wanted by the U.S. government thing) representatives of the Icelandic Pirate Party brought forward a proposal to offer the NSA leaker Icelandic citizenship. That would make it possible for Snowden to travel to the country and apply for asylum, adding Iceland to the short list of possible places Snowden could make a new home for himself without fearing extradition by the United States.
While it’s a nice thought from the Pirate Party, it seems their proposal — which managed to garner only a few votes in Iceland’s parliament, the Althing — doesn’t exactly have legs. Even the little support it did garner can from minority and fringe parties, with major political groups backing away from support for Snowden. While the idea that he has support could be comforting to Snowden, it seems he might be better off getting comfortable in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where he has made his home for the last couple weeks. Just what the NSA leaker’s long-term plan is seems to become murkier by the day.
While the proposal seems dead in the water, it wouldn’t be without precedent. When Bobby Fischer was seeking a safe haven in the early 90s after scoffing at U.S. economic sanctions to play chess against Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia, Iceland granted the chess champ citizenship. Of course, that wasn’t until 2005 when Fischer had some legal troubles that resulted in his U.S. passport being revoked and found himself detained in Japan, but still, the country has a history of stepping up to provide a home for America’s less popular expatriates.
- Snowden could be welcome in Russia — with some restrictions
- He’s apparently not welcome at Trump Towers, though, which is a sign of good character at least
- Here’s a primer on what the NSA might know about your Internet habits