News / Europe

Invisible in Moscow, Snowden Has a Big Global Impact

In this image released by WikiLeaks Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony in Russia.
In this image released by WikiLeaks Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony in Russia.
James Brooke
Edward Snowden, Moscow’s most famous American, will shortly mark six months in Russia. So far, he has had no face to face meetings with journalists and no meetings with the general public.
 
His three meetings with outsiders have been carefully staged events with sympathetic visitors. Two blurry photos have been released that appear to show the fugitive American intelligence leaker outside a supermarket and on a Moscow bridge.
 
His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says Snowden started a job on Nov. 1, but he will not say where. Kucherena is a member of the oversight board of the FSB, Russia’s primary domestic intelligence agency.
 
Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russia’s intelligence agencies, believes the FSB discreetly, but firmly controls Snowden’s new life in Russia.
 
“The problem is that if you are surrounded only by people from FSB, people like Kucherena, you become dependent on the information they provide to you,” said Soldatov, co-author with Irina Borogan of The New Nobility, a history of the new Russian security services.
 
Snowden won asylum here in August on the condition that he not disrupt relations between Moscow and Washington. Snowden is not giving press conferences in Moscow. He claims that he gave all his stolen computer files to sympathetic journalists before flying here on June 23.

Smart game
 
But Soldatov notes that the steady stream of spy stories furthers the foreign policy goals of the Kremlin.
 
“It’s a very smart game,” he said.
 
The revelations of U.S. spying have driven a wedge between Washington and Europe, where French and Germans are angered by extensive American spying programs. Other spying revelations have roiled relations with Mexico and Brazil, the two powerhouses of Latin America.
 
Carnegie Moscow Center Director Dmitri Trenin says world leaders are either naïve about the degree of spying that goes on, or are putting on a show of protest. In the 1980s, Trenin worked with Soviet military forces in East Germany, keeping a close eye on his American counterparts.
 
“Frankly, in this world, you spy on your adversaries, but you also collect intelligence on your allies,” Trenin said. “This is one is one of the oldest rules in the game. The United States has been in Germany since 1945, and since 1945 the U.S. government has wanted to know exactly what the German government is thinking.”
 
Trenin and others say that people have forgotten - or were unaware - of the extent of intelligence gathering.
 
“I would be very, very angry with the Russian government if the Russian government did not collect information on all countries that have relevance to Russia,” he said, referring to Russia’s military and trade allies.

'Sovereign control'
 
Soldatov fears that Snowden’s transparency crusade will backfire.

He says the revelations have strengthened the hands of authoritarian countries, like Russia and China. They seek to end the free flow of information on the worldwide web, and to build walls of “sovereign control.”
 
Speaking of Snowden and his journalist partners," Soldatov said. “They really believe that everyone should fight this greater evil, because American services, they have this global reach, they have access to the services, and to the service of companies that everybody, almost everybody on the planet tries to use - global services like email, Facebook and Twitter.”
 
Indeed, Snowden’s host country, Russia, is moving rapidly in the opposite direction, in the direction of greater government surveillance. This month, Russia is preparing a law that would give the FSB automatic access to the content of all Russian emails, instant messages, and telephone calls.

You May Like

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jean White from: USA
November 08, 2013 12:34 PM
"global impact.." so did Aldrich Ames and Whittaker Chambers... disgusting perfidious scumbags...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid