We have gone through the looking glass. We have fallen down the rabbit hole. Vladimir Putin has given Obama a lecture on the need for greater privacy. We learn this from Russia Today.
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.
So here is a former KGB official saying that America has gone too far in spying on its people.
Worse, he’s correct.
He said that Snowden’s revelations have revealed nothing new. He is correct. James Bamford has repeatedly revealed how far the NSA has gone. But the American public did not know. Snowden has gotten media attention for spilling beans that have long been out of the bag.
Americans need a good scandal to catch their attention. Snowden is the source of the scandal. Bamford should have been, but he wasn’t. He was ignored. But the cloak-and-dagger story of Snowden in Hong Kong is irresistible. Where is he? It’s mission impossible. It’s the Bourne Identity.
And now we get Vladimir Putin, defender of civil rights.
The NSA is in the spotlight. That’s where it hates to be.