Putin Fields Questions From Snowden During Call-In Show

Image: Putin Fields Questions From Snowden During Call-In Show

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 09:21 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin several questions on Thursday during a televised call-in show.

The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia granted the American asylum last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and Internet data by the United States and fled the country.

Snowden, who has been given refuge in Russia, was not in the studio where Putin was speaking. He submitted his questions in a video clip, and it was not immediately clear if he was speaking live or if it had been recorded earlier.

Snowden, wearing a jacket and open-collar shirt and speaking before a dark background, asked Putin: "Does Russia intercept, store, or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?"

He also asked whether Putin believes improving the effectiveness of investigations justifies "placing societies ... under surveillance."

He was speaking in English, and Putin had to ask the anchor for help with a translation of the question.

Putin, a former spy during Soviet rule, raised a laugh among the studio audience when he said: "You are an ex-agent. I used to have ties to intelligence."

Turning to Snowden's question, Putin said Russia regulates communications as part of criminal investigations, but "on a massive scale, on an uncontrolled scale we certainly do not allow this and I hope we will never allow it."

He said the Russian authorities need consent from a court to conduct such surveillance on a specific individual, "and for this reason there is no [surveillance] of a mass character here and cannot be in accordance with the law."

The televised exchange allowed Putin to portray Russia as less intrusive in the lives of its citizens than the United States and enabled Snowden to suggest that he is concerned about surveillance practices not only in the United States but in other countries, including the one that is sheltering him.

Putin's refusal to hand Snowden over to the United States, where he is wanted on espionage charges, added to strained ties between Russia and the United States that have now been even more badly damaged by turmoil in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Snowden was granted asylum for at least a year.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Hillary Clinton's Economic Approach Under Scrutiny

Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 08:34 AM

If Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks the White House again, her message on the economy could be an important barometer as she . . .

Russia May Burn Wealth Funds in 3 Years Without Cuts

Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 08:31 AM

Russia, poised to enter a recession, will burn through its rainy-day funds in three years if the government doesn't chan . . .

Policies of Walker, Other GOP Governors Could Find National Play

Saturday, 27 Dec 2014 07:26 AM

One group of potential candidates for president probably won't be shuffling off to Iowa, New Hampshire or other early ca . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved