How is Snowden able to walk in Moscow streets anonymously? | Eurasia Diary -

14 July, Tuesday

How is Snowden able to walk in Moscow streets anonymously?

A hat and a scarf are of help, the former NSA staffer says

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In his memoir "Permanent Record," former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who received asylum in Russia, says that Moscow winters make it easier for him to remain anonymous.

"Whenever I go outside, I try to change my appearance a bit. Maybe I get rid of my beard, maybe I wear different glasses. I never liked the cold until I realized that a hat and a scarf provide the world’s most convenient and inconspicuous anonymity," Snowden writes in his memoir published on Tuesday. "I change the rhythm and pace of my walk, and, contrary to the sage advice of my mother, I look away from traffic when crossing the street, which is why I’ve never been caught on any of the car dashcams that are ubiquitous here."

"I used to worry about the bus and the metro, but nowadays, everybody’s too busy staring at their phones to give a second glance," Snowden said. "If I take a cab, I’ll have it pick me up at a bus or metro stop a few blocks away from where I live and drop me off at an address a few blocks away from where I’m going," he added.

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