Snowden: Russia’s anti-terror ‘Big Brother law’ is unworkable
EDWARD SNOWDEN has condemned a “dangerous” package of anti-terrorism legislation passed by Russia’s parliament last week, in a rare criticism of the authorities in his host country.
Mr Snowden, who fled to Russia in 2013 after exposing a surveillance programme run by the US National Security Agency, urged Vladimir Putin to reject an “unjustifiable violation of rights”.
Mr Snowden called the bill approved by the State Duma a “Big Brother law” that was “unworkable” and “should never be signed”. He added: “Mass surveillance doesn’t work. This bill will take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety.”
The anti-terrorism bill was tabled by Irina Yarovaya, a hard-Right member of the ruling United Russia party. It toughens existing laws, introducing what has been described as some of the most repressive legislation since the fall of the Soviet Union.
The new measures would force Russian mobile phone operators to store the details of all calls and text messages made by customers for six months, and keep metadata – information about the date, time and users – for three years.
Providers of messaging apps, email services and any other electronic communication will be required to provide the security services with a key to decode encrypted messages.
Andrei Soldatov, an expert on the security services, said Mr Snowden was right to call the bill “unworkable”, saying it was technically impossible to implement the eavesdropping measures.