The media has been in overflow about the Edward Snowden affair which has raised all kinds of nasty speculation about what information is actually recorded, sifted, analysed and archived by governments and their shadowy apocalyptic horsemen whose motivation, allegedly, is to uncover terrorist activity, but the reality is, finding out everything about everybody might just be quite useful one day. Everyone is asking whether he is some kind of Assange clone – a hero for opening what looks to be a particularly gnarly can of worms, or a treasonous hound who has, in some as yet unspecified fashion, made some of his country’s best-kept secret methods available to a foreign and generally not very benevolent power. As the story unfolds, it seems more probable that the latter will turn out to be closer to the truth. Speculation is feverish as to why he abandoned – or fled – his Hawaii apartment, citing a need for medical treatment abroad, then surfacing in Hong Kong – go figure – his data would be a gold mine to Chinese intelligence services and the Chinese are one of the few people on the planet prepared to stand up to the Americans. The Americans are looking increasingly desperate to get their hands on him and the country hopping he has already done suggests that it has been carefully orchestrated by people with considerably more political savvy than he has. Today, he is pathetically marooned, shuffling around inside the transit zone at Sheremetyevo airport and considering at least three asylum options. In theory, he could stay there for years and where he ends up is anyone’s guess, but I can’t help wondering if some tragic accident might befall him en route. His condition is a metaphor for his own actions – he is as lost in real space as his data is in cyberspace.