UPDATES below the post.

Multiple outlets are reporting that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has accepted asylum in Venezuela, and the news is spreading like wildfire.  But there doesn’t seem to be reliable confirmation of this news, as most reports appear to be based on a single source – a Russian lawmaker who deleted his relevant tweet.

I’ve been monitoring this for the last two hours and was waiting for actual confirmation, but the news cycle doesn’t appear to want to wait. Here’s how it’s all gone down on Twitter so far. Make sure you read to the end.

Several news outlets tweeted earlier today that Snowden had accepted asylum in Venezuela, based on a tweet from Alexey Pushkov, a Russian lawmaker close to the Kremlin.

Shortly thereafter however, that lawmaker’s tweet was memory holed.

Pushkov had since posted two new tweets.

Google Translation: “Information that Snowden accepted an offer of asylum from Maduro came from 18-hour release of “Vesti 24”.”

Google Translation: “According to News 24, with reference to Maduro, Snowden accepted his offer of asylum. If so, it is found that the safest option.”

Politico reporter Reid Epstein followed with a tweet that a Venezuelan state media outlet had confirmed Snowden’s acceptance of asylum there.

But as Brian Fung, tech policy reporter for the National Journal pointed out, that media report and the News 24 report both cite Pushkov as the source.

So…numerous news reports have since snowballed, citing information that is based on a Russian lawmaker’s tweet who cited news sources that cited the Russian lawmaker.

This is how the sausage is made in the age of Twitter.  And it ain’t always pretty.

Stay tuned. We will update this post with actual confirmation (or denial) when it’s definitive.


UPDATE 7/9 – 2:15pm ET:  Wikileaks says Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela.



UPDATE 7/9 – 3:01pm ET:  Wikileaks confirms that an extradition request for Snowden has been served on Iceland.



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