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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid