Edward Snowden attacks Russia over human rights and hacking

Edward Snowden attacks Russia over human rights and hacking

NSA whistleblower says Moscows online monitoring of citizens is unnecessary, costly and corrosive of rights

The US whistleblower Edward Snowden has attacked his Russian protectors by criticising the Kremlins human rights record and suggesting that its officials have been involved in hacks on US security networks.

His outburst came in an interview in the Financial Times with Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian, which published the initial Snowden revelations. Snowden said Moscow had gone very far, in ways that are completely unnecessary, costly and corrosive to individual and collective rights in monitoring citizens online.

He described last months leak of top-secret National Security Agency espionage tools as an implicit threat to the US government, potentially by Russia.

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Snowden, 33, a former CIA contractor, has been living in a secret location in Russia since he fled the US via Hong Kong in 2013, carrying thousands of classified documents that revealed the widespread nature of the NSAs electronic surveillance programme. He faces up to 30 years in prison in the US on charges of espionage and theft of government property.

However, his lawyers hope to secure a presidential pardon before Barack Obama leaves office in January, and commentators have noted that Snowden has made several attacks on his hosts in the build-up to his bid for a pardon.

In July, it was reported that Snowden had posted a string of messages to his 2 million Twitter followers, in which he described recent Russian legislation criminalising support for terrorism on the internet as unworkable.

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Mass surveillance doesnt work. This bill will take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety. It should not be signed, he tweeted. Duma member says most representatives were against Big Brother law, but voted yes out of fear.

Some critics have claimed that this is a bid by Snowden to keep himself in some favour with the White House. In the FT interview, he said: I cant fix the human rights situation in Russia, and realistically my priority is to fix my own country first, because thats the one to which I owe the greatest loyalty.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/10/star-treks-zachary-quinto-calls-for-return-of-edward-snowden