Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worth a rethink

For reasons best known to himself, Edward Snowden phoned Vladimir Putin's Direct Line call-in show today. Here's the host introducing the show --

Good afternoon, I could say that we are having today yet another conversation with Vladimir Putin, however the situation is different since the country we are talking to now has changed. After waiting for 23 years, since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Crimea and Sevastopol have joined Russia. For this reason, every question today will be directly or indirectly related to Crimea.

Snowden's question was actually about electronic surveillance policy in Russia, but if he'd watched the whole show, he should have seen that it was a propaganda effort for the Crimean annexation -- and implicitly for whatever other parts of eastern Europe Putin has his eye on.

Anyway, on Snowden's question, Putin's response concluded that the Russian surveillance agencies --

are under strict control of the state, society, and their activities are regulated by law.

And those are self-defence forces and local militias in eastern Ulkraine!

UPDATE: Snowden's convoluted defence in the Guardian never discusses why he used a Crimean annexation propaganda show to make his point.