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

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid