US Attorney General seeks cautious rapprochement with Snowden

US Attorney General Eric Holder does not want to give whistleblower Edward Snowden safe conduct yet when he returns to the US, but does want to ‘enter into dialogue’. Snowden himself argues that current US whistleblower laws do not allow for a return.

Edward Snowden responded Thursday via to questions from the public. When asked if he could return to the United States from Russia, Snowden said he would like to, but that outdated US legislation makes this virtually impossible for him. According to Snowden, current U.S. law would be very outdated to provide adequate protections for whistleblowers, because the law does not apply to government-hired workers. The whistleblower believes that until then there is also no real possibility to return to the US and face a fair trial.

The US Attorney General, in turn, appears to be cautiously approaching Snowden. Eric Holder has said he wants to “enter into a dialogue” with the whistleblower and his lawyers. The minister has not yet gone so far as to give Snowden safe conduct. He qualifies his position as a ‘defendant’ and that there is room for negotiation if the whistleblower wants to issue a partial or partial debt statement.

Snowden also said during question time from Russia that he has never “borrowed” or stolen passwords from former NSA colleagues. Previous posts with a similar conclusion based on comments from former NSA colleagues also surfaced in December.

For the future, Snowden hopes that partly in response to his revelations, countries will start negotiating and draw up international rules setting the limits of cyber espionage. For example, socially critical infrastructure, such as hospitals or power plants, should never be attacked. All dragnet methods used by the NSA and GCHQ, among others, should also be banned, according to Snowden, because they not only affect the rights of citizens but have also proved ineffective.