It’s hard to imagine that anyone who’d run to a landfill to seek refuge, would then complain mightily about the horrible smell of the rotting garbage.
Yet that’s what Edward Snowden is doing. Snowden, a 33-year-old, computer professional and former National Security Agency contractor, left his home in Hawaii and eventually fled in Russia in 2013 after leaking an overwhelming amount of classified U.S. data on America’s global surveillance efforts.
Snowden was charged in the U.S. in 2013 with violating the Espionage Act. He has won many awards from civil liberties and free speech groups for his whistle-blowing effort.
Now Snowden is criticizing Russia despite that communist country shielding him from being extradited to the United States to face charges. The New York Times reports that over the weekend Snowden blasted a Russian law that was “an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.”
The lower house of Parliament in Russia on Friday passed the law. Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house, said Monday that her chamber would approve it, too.
The measure includes a provision making it a crime to fail to report the planning of a terrorist act, and it would be a crime to write social media posts that justifies terrorism. The law also requires Russian cellular and internet providers to store all communications data for six months and help security services decipher encrypted messages.
Snowden called it “Russia’s new Big Brother law.”
Excuse me. Russia is Big Brother. But I guess it doesn’t matter any more to Snowden that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself approved Snowden’s asylum in Russia three years ago.
Snowden said: “Mass surveillance doesn’t work. This bill will take money and liberty without improving safety.”
The Times reports that Snowden doesn’t plan to die in Russia.
Or stay there for very much longer, obviously, from the statements that he’s making about the nation that’s harboring him.
Snowden’s American lawyer, Ben Wizner, said Snowden would seek a pardon from President Barack Obama.
Yeah, that’s going to happen. It was on the Obama’s watch that Snowden leaked an embarrassing amount of information on America’s global surveillance.
Obama has been granting pardons to offenders imprisoned for nonviolent crimes, but Snowden shouldn’t hold his breath.
Countries like the U.S. and Russia continue to do bizarre, anti-civil liberties things in the name of national security. What they don’t want is to have someone like Snowden rat them out.