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Published: Friday 13 September, 2013

canada goose coats for women canada goose coats for women Does Snowden know what hes doing with the refrigerator

WASHINGTON Sure, Edward Snowden nonflight to Cuba, whereabouts in Russia, and request for asylum in Ecuador are getting most of the attention this week. But amid all the hubbub, Monday news also brought us this small but intriguing detail from a New York Times story on how Snowden planned his exit from Hong Kong over a cloakanddagger pizza dinner.

Mr. Snowden, the paper noted, wore a cap and sunglasses and insisted that the assembled lawyers hide their cellphones in the refrigerator of the home where he was staying, to block any eavesdropping.

The ol cell phonesintherefrigerator trick is just one of many tradecraftesque moves we know Snowden has attempted since going on the lam. He lined the door of his hotel room with pillows, for example, and worn a hood while entering computer passwords. But how useful is putting cell phones in the fridge, really? Is wearing a hood while using your laptop stopping anyone from watching what you doing? In other words: Does Edward Snowden know what he doing when it comes to covert ops?

We reached out to Foreign Policy contributor David Gomez, a former assistant special agentincharge and counterterrorism program manager with the FBI, to get his take. When was Snowden being savvy and when did it seem as if he just watched a few too many spy movies?

Cell phones in the fridge

While it true that cell phones can easily be compromised and turned into recording devices, Gomez says it unlikely that anyone seeking to record Snowden would have used a phone anyway. If someone had wanted to eavesdrop, Gomez explains, he or she more likely would canada goose coats for women have worn a concealed wire. Or, if a government agents had been trying to listen in from outside of the room, they might have deployed a longrange microphone, among other techniques. The bottom line: a refrigerated cell phone probably wasn stopping anyone who wanted to listen badly enough though it may have extended the phone battery life.

Lining the hotel door with pillows

While not particularly effective at sto canada goose coats for women pping anyone actively canada goose coats for women seeking to spy on Snowden, pillows could have muffled the sounds of any conversations going on in his Hong Kong hotel room enough that an unsuspecting person passing by wouldn overhear something alarming, Gomez says.

Wearing a hood while entering computer passwords, to avoid hidden cameras

The danger while entering computer passwords is unlikely to come from a hidden camera planted in the hotel, Gomez says, but rather from keystrokelogging software, against which a hoodie provides little protection.

Signaling his identity to reporters by carrying a Rubik Cube through a hotel

While spies do at times use signals to identify one another, the idea in doing so is to not draw attention to yourself, Gomez explains. Thus, when arranging a meeting, as Snowden did with a group of journalists in Hong Kong, it is both unhelpful and unnecessary to carry something as out of place as a Rubik Cube. It would have been better, Gomez adds, for Snowden to have simply described, say, his clothing in detail. If you going to meet with all these people, what the point of being Sneaky Pete? Gomez asks.

In general, Gomez notes, Snowden stabs at tradecraft seem like the work of an amateur the I be here, wearing a grey fedora, smoking this brand of cigarette kind of thing. canada goose coats for women