58 votes

Edward Snowden Asks Vladimir Putin About Russian Surveillance On Live TV


NSA leaker Edward Snowden put a direct question to Vladimir Putin during a live televised question-and-answer session Thursday, asking Russia's president about Moscow's use of mass surveillance on its citizens.

Speaking via a video link, Snowden asked: "I've seen little public discussion of Russia's own involvement in the policies of mass surveillance, so I'd like to ask you: Does Russia intercept, store or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?"


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Although I'm confident that

Although I'm confident that history will show Snowden's original act of disclosure of criminal behavior by the NSA as a courageous and righteous act, Snowden must be careful about public perception of being used by the "enemy". If I were Snowden, I wouldn't associate with political power in Russia beyond maintaining my residency, but would continue to work as an expatriate to correct the unconstitutional abuse of power at home in the USA.

Jan Helfeld's picture

Why Snowden is a hero

See vid: Why Snowden is a hero.


Jan Helfeld


More like Sautéing

But seriously...

When is the last time you saw a KGB agent having a conversation with a whistle blower?

It takes a generation to right the ship of state.

Where is the "grilling" part?

Where is the "grilling" part? Can someone point me to it, since I missed it... or is this another case of hyperbole to get views?

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

Misleading title

Can't see any 'grilling' in that video. Neither in question, nor in answer.

Only as high as i reach can i grow
Only as far as i seek can i go
Only as deep as i look can i see
Only as much as i dream can i be

Snowden alive and well in Russia

Kudos to Snowden and Putin! Much more transparent in Russia than the US from everything I have seen so far.

Gilligan's picture

Except that Putin sounds just like Obama.


Google is government.


The NSA doesn't have to have a court order to spy on anyone they want. Supposedly they don't "listen" to all of the data they record, but they are storing all sorts of information, and who knows what the definition of a terrorist might become. They've already defined potential terrorists as "Ron Paul supporters" and "libertarians," so they are preparing to use the information they have gathered against the people.

Putin clearly said that their intelligence agents are under the authority of Russian law. Obama makes NO SUCH CLAIM. All he does is give vague assurances that he believes NSA agents "operate like professionals." He claims that he is confident that "the core values that America has always believed in, in terms of rule of law, privacy, individual rights...has guided the U.S. for many years and will continue to guide us into the future." In other words, just trust me.

His assertions are so vague and he has already proven to be a tremendous liar, so...we are supposed to just trust him? This is a far cry from Russia's intelligence program.

John F

you literally...

took the words off my keyboard. :)

I went to reply.. saw your comment and hit the back button.

Make no mistake. Putin is no fan of America. Also.. no offense to Snowden.. it may be in good faith and honest. It looks really bad to American policy makers.

The ironic part is Obama would never face Snowden face to face.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

I have a problem with Snowden

I have a problem with Snowden - No new information about anything salient has taken place except "we are spied on" - already knew that. How about phone conversations about Fast and Furious implicating govt. officials, how about info on IRS scandal targeting civilians for their political beliefs, how about info on Sandy Hook planning as a staged event, etc. etc., etc.


Garan's picture

Snowden Doesn't have Information to Release

He's already stated that having the information would make him a target, so he gave the copies away for others to release.

He's a smart guy who has given up much for his beliefs.
I believe him.

He's given the American people enough information to prove

Without a doubt that our Constitutional rights are being routinely and egregiously violated.

What happens now is up to us.

Snowden has done his job.


comment of the day award goesss toooooooooooooooo

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

he he I was imagining Putin

he he I was imagining Putin pressing an ejection button under the table and Snowden flying out across the Russian border. Really though, are they going to allow the muckraking to happen there? If they do, maybe they are freer than America.

DJP333's picture

Does anyone know

when the annual Q&A 'marathon' with the public will be held this year in the U.S? I'm sure we at the DP have a myriad of questions for Obama.

"It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different."

2 things

Anyone who thinks Snowden surprised Putin doesn't understand media. Of course Putin knows that the exchange was going to take place as was planned in advance.

Second, his answer is absolutely no different than Obama's answer. Effectively saying they follow laws, court-orders, and only use those means are used for only terrorists, lawfully permitted. He probably just didn't have a word for "metadata" in the Russian language.

I'm sorry but it isn't the same.


Watch from 38:05 and tell me you still think Obama's answers (given very methodically and carefully, smacking of insincerity) are like Putin's (simple, direct, and without the sense of rehearsal).

Also, let us remember that even if our NSA were under the authority of law, the laws have been changed so drastically to allow for much abuse, and the stage has been set so that anyone can be identified as a terrorist. Our system is far more corrupt, and Obama's apologies are far more vague and unfounded.

John F

All I could think was...

..Is He Trying To Get Himself Kicked Out Of Russia..????!!!!

I think he is in Canada now.

I think he is in Canada now.

Think Truth...Trust Truth...Rely on Truth!


I missed that memo...!!!

Giant pair of Balls

I thought the same thing.


"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

Michael Nystrom's picture


I took the liberty of adding a YT to your OP.

Thanks BT.

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.