Data surveillance is an acceptable measure if done within the law, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told RT while visiting the channel in the capital.
Speaking to RT the Russian president stressed that Snowden revealed “nothing we didn’t know before”, adding that surveillance “is becoming a global phenomenon in the context of combatting international terrorism”, and that “such methods are generally practicable”.
But Putin pointed out that “the question is how well those security agencies are controlled by the public.”
“I can tell you that, at least in Russia, you cannot just go and tap into someone’s phone conversation without a warrant issued by court,” Putin said answering the question of RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.
“That’s more or less the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism with modern-day technology. As long as it is exercised within the boundaries of the law that regulates intelligence activities, it’s alright. But if it’s unlawful, then it’s bad.”
Commenting on Obama’s statement that “You can’t have 100 per cent security and 100 per cent privacy,” Putin disagreed, saying it is possible if done within the law.
Earlier on Tuesday, Putin’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov told to a newspaper that Russia could consider the possibility of granting political asylum to 29-year-old Edward Snowden, if such a request is made. The ex-CIA worker is behind one of the biggest leaks of our time as he disclosed the existence of PRISM, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data-mining surveillance program, to The Guardian last week.
The whereabouts of whistleblower remain unknown after he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel on Monday after revealing his identity and making a public statement in a interview with The Guardian a day earlier.
‘Syria should have undertaken reform in due time’
Speaking about the conflict in Syria, the president said it was possible to avoid the civilian war by conducting reforms in due time.
“Syria as a country was rife for some kind of change. And the government of Syria should have felt that in due time and should have undertaken some reform,” Putin said. “Had they done that, what we’re seeing in Syria today would have never happened.”
However, he added, one should take into account that the entire Middle East is currently finding itself in a state of uncertainty and conflict — and it’s wrong to try and interfere from outside.
“From the outside some people think that if you bring the entire region in compliance with someone’s specific idea of democracy, things will settle down, and everything will be all right in that region. But that’s not true. Considering that region’s background history, culture, religion — you cannot interfere with it from the outside.”
Putin pointed out that the West is supporting some certain organizations that are fighting Assad in Syria, and they are countering “those very same groups” in Mali.
- Putin on NSA leak: Cyber surveillance shouldn’t break law (rt.com)
- RT: Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Putin lectures Obama on privacy (wnd.com)