News / Europe

Snowden Questions Putin on Surveillance

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a live televised call-in show, in Moscow, April 17, 2014.Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a live televised call-in show, in Moscow, April 17, 2014.
x
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a live televised call-in show, in Moscow, April 17, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts a live televised call-in show, in Moscow, April 17, 2014.
Reuters
Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question 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 question 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 Sates 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, which now have been even more badly damaged by turmoil in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Snowden was granted asylum for at least a year.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Вася
April 18, 2014 6:34 PM
this embarrassing abomination of a question was more scripted than professional wrestling


by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
April 17, 2014 4:44 PM
What a televised call in show!. The show serves the purposes of Putin and Snowden and the collusion between the two cannot be ignored. This staged TV show is part of the Russian propaganda machinery, unmatched by the European and the US media.


by: Igor from: Russia
April 17, 2014 1:26 PM
Of course human rights in Russia is much better than those in the USA. In Russia piracy is highly respected.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid