Did Snowden take 4 laptops through Hong Kong customs and not excite suspicion?

December 7, 2013

The Snowden story is that he brought 4 laptops into Hong Kong with him. But would not 4 laptops excite suspicion from the Chinese?

Supposedly, Snowden was worried to go out of his hotel room in Hong Kong. If so, why did he bring in 4 laptops? Wouldn’t that raise his profile?

Presumably, he would declare the 4 laptops in his customs form? He would not want to start his relation with the Chinese by violating customs. For one thing, that would give them a basis to deport him. If he was counting on staying in Hong Kong, that would be poor legal tactics.

How many men come into Hong Kong with 4 laptops who are not part of any business trip or consulting work?

This suggests there were not 4 laptops or that Snowden already had a relationship with the Chinese prior to entry. (Or that he wanted to be suspicious as a way to get access to whoever might look into him? This seems less likely.)

Why did Snowden put on the show at his hotel room for Glenn Greenwald that he was worried about Chinese searching his room? Did Snowden buy 4 laptops in Hong Kong to show to Greenwald? Or to give one or more of them to Greenwald?

Did Snowden keep some of the data after the journalists left but before he knew that Wikileaks was going to help him? Who did he think he was going to give his data to before he knew Wikileaks would come and he would give it to them?

Snowden knew that the huge number of documents he took would look like a spy and not a whistleblower to the US and that they would be determined to get him. He did not give himself much time to contact Wikileaks or others from scratch before his name became public. He could have lined that up between the anonymous revelations by Guardian and his becoming public but chose not to. Because he already had them?

For publicity purposes, it was best to release his name quickly after the initial disclosure while the public and US government were interested in the issue.

If Snowden was so worried the Chinese would search his hotel room and steal his stuff, why did he think Hong Kong was such a great place to seek sanctuary?


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