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President Vladimir Putin has told the National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, that Russia is not carrying out mass surveillance programmes of the kind Snowden exposed in the US.
Snowden made a video-link appearance during Putin's marathon televised question and answer session to ask the president about Russia's attitude to mass surveillance.
Putin's claims will be treated with a high degree of scepticism by western intelligence officials. With China, they regard Russia as the biggest culprits in terms of cyber espionage and cyber theft – which is undertaken by both countries on an industrial scale.
The Guardian has reported how Russia is upgrading an electronic surveillance system known as Sorm, which is capable of capturing telephone communications, intercepting internet traffic and storing data on subscribers including actual recordings and locations.
originally posted by: Mizzijr
It would be interesting to know if he already knew the answer and decided to ask him just to see if he'd lie.
Snowden: Do you spy on the civilians of Russia?
Putin: Wha..? Of course not. We are FREE country.
*Snowden pulls out flash drive and waves it slightly*
Snowden: Ohhh really?