Feeds

Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance

Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has no mass telephone and internet surveillance programs to compare with those in the United States.

The Russian President made the claim in his annual Q&A session on live TV on Thursday, when the topic was raised in a call-in question in English by NSA-leaker Edward Snowden.

"Does Russia intercept, store, or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" Snowden asked. "And do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement  investigations can justify placing societies, rather than subjects, under surveillance?"

Responding through a translator, Putin glibly said that since he used to work for an intelligence agency and Snowden is himself a former spy, the two could speak "one professional language."

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according with our law it cannot exist," Putin said.

Snowden asks Putin LIVE: Does Russia intercept or store comms?

Edward Snowden quizzes Russian President Vladimir Putin on surveillance

He added that although Russian law enforcement and spy agencies do conduct some surveillance when investigating criminal matters, they must get permission from a court to target specific individuals. "Mass-scale, uncontrollable efforts" like those in the US do not exist in Russia, Putin said.

"Our special services, thank God, are strictly controlled by the society and by the law and are regulated by the law," he claimed.

He further observed that in Russia "we don't have as much money as they have in the States, and we don't have these technical devices that they have in the States."

Snowden, who has been living in Russia since being granted temporary asylum in 2013, submitted his question via video and was not given the opportunity to respond to Putin's answers.

During the same Q&A session, Putin was also asked whether he has any plans to annex the US state of Alaska, which was a Russian territory until it was sold to the US in 1867 for $7.2m in gold. A recent online petition proposing the return of Alaska to Russian rule has garnered more than 40,000 signatures.

"Who needs Alaska?" Putin quipped, before adding, "I want to emphasize once again, Russia is interested in growing relations with the United States and will do everything to ensure that this confidence is restored." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.