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Published On: Thu, Apr 17th, 2014

Edward Snowden questions Vladimir Putin on surveillance in Russia

During Vladimir Putin’s televised call-in show, one of the TV anchors interrupted viewers’ questions to air what she said was a “sensational video” for the Russian president: a message from Edward Snowden. Snowden then questioned the Russian leader on their surveillance practices.

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

“I’ve seen little public discussion of Russia’s own involvement in the policies of mass surveillance,” Snowden said. “Does Russia intercept, store, or analyze the communications of millions of individuals?”

“You’re a former agent and I used to work in intelligence,” Putin said, receiving laughter in the room. “Special services here, thank God, are under the strict control of the government, society, and their operations are regulated by law.”

Critics were quick to point out that Putin’s answer is in sharp contract to reality in Russia.

Putin’s official answer differs sharply from the reality in Russia. Russia’s Internet regulatory body has shut down the domain of leading opposition figure and popular blogger Alexei Navalny recently – just one example.

Russia also moved to block groups on Russia’s leading social network, VKontakte, that were connected to the Ukrainian protest movement that helped oust the country’s Kremlin-friendly president from power.

Just a day earlier, Pavel Durov, VKontakte’s founder, posted online what appeared to be FSB documents requesting personal information from the accounts of 39 groups, all of them linked to the Ukrainian protest movement.

“First, there is no parliamentary oversight of secret services,” independent Moscow-based security analyst Andrei Soldatov wrote on Twitter in response to Putin’s comments. “Second, the FSB (Russia’s security agency) is not required to show a warrant to anyone.”

 Snowden leaked several documents detailing the extensive National Security Agency and was granted asylum in Russia last year.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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