It seems interesting that no country has yet given asylum to Edward Snowden, after so many days in hiding and after filing so many asylum requests. Not even Ecuador, a bitter US diplomatic enemy, has given a positive answer. In fact, they have just announced they will not grant Snowden’s petition. It makes one wonder as to the reasons for this. Publicly, no one wants to be seen as the one who protected the leaker and therefore condoning US spying (and that eliminates any EU member country to grant asylum), but also no one wants to be seen openly opposing eavesdropping on everyone else, meaning we are all doing it?
Let us face it. Espionage was romanticized by James Bond and a myriad of other media, but it is today more alive than ever. It is a constant reality of world politics, and an important component of diplomacy. Spying on each other is a heritage of the world wars, and there is simply no denying.
Perhaps Snowden’s revelations about US spying do not tell us as much as the lack of protective action from so many other countries. What they do not say is what speaks the loudest, it seems. So,when will we hear about Russia’s own spying scheme? How about the EU? The US seems to have been thrown under the bus here, but I am sure they are not alone in the eavesdropping endeavour.
Now, will this lead to armed conflicts? Not really. It will probably help deepen those that already exist in pursuit of profit and better ensuring of lucrative contracts, but it will not produce a conflict of its own. Snowden will shortly be given asylum somewhere also known as a tax haven, where loose and confusing legislation can shelter him from international organisms, and will soon be forgotten. The case of John McAfee’s escape from Belize into Florida comes to mind. After a couple of weeks of media attention, McAfee is back into hiding and no one asks about him anymore.
Snowden will become just an obscure figure.