Edward Snowden tweeted a cryptic 64 character code on Friday evening that was deleted minutes later, sparking fears the message was a ‘dead man’s switch’ meaning Snowden is either dead or missing.
A dead man’s switch is a message set up to be automatically sent if the holder of the account does not perform a regular check-in. In Snowden’s case, his dead man’s switch would be the key to the encrypted files he distributed among journalists and associates.
Snowden’s first release in 2013 sent shockwaves through the intelligence community and confirmed suspicions that many people had held about the NSA for years. However the information he released was a mere fraction of the data he held when he left the United States.
This data was disseminated in encrypted files to trusted journalists and associates. There is a network of people holding encrypted files containing information that was deemed too sensitive to release by Snowden.
Two days ago Snowden sent an equally cryptic tweet, addressed to his former NSA colleagues, with the message “It’s time.” It is understood with Friday’s 64 character tweet that he may have just released the key to the encrypted files.
Huge New Leak On The Horizon
If so it raises the question of whether he is still alive, as fears grow the 64 character code is a ‘dead man’s switch’ released in the event of his death or captivity.
A dead man’s switch ensures secrets do not go to the grave with the holder of the switch. Employing a switch is also a means of discouraging your assassination.
Julian Assange is known to have set up a similar dead man’s switch to ensure the survival of sensitive information in the event of his death. Wikileaks insurance files – encrypted files – were shared by Wikileaks with people around the world. If Assange dies unexpectedly, a key to the files will be shared and access made available to the insurance files.
Torrent Sites Taken Offline
Reports have surfaced that at least eight popular torrent sites used for distributing large files were immediately taken offline after Snowden’s tweet, suggesting the distribution of files is being suppressed, or at least slowed down, adding to the speculation that Snowden has been killed and the key to his sensitive insurance files has been released.
Until the former NSA contractor turned whistleblower tweets again – and we can verify that it is actually him tweeting – question marks will remain regarding his situation.
Either way, with the release of this 64 character code, coupled with Snowden’s “It’s time” message days earlier, be prepared for a major leak in the near future. The interesting times we are living in may get exponentially more interesting very soon.
Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept, a journalist who has worked extensively with Snowden in recent years, claims the whistleblower is “fine,” but has refused give any further information on his safety.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 6, 2016