Edward Snowden might be holed up in Russia, but that’s not going to stop him from criticizing the country. While accepting the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression’s Bjornson prize, the former NSA agent used a speech to call Russia’s attitude to internet freedom and homosexuality as “fundamentally wrong”.
The US government has indicated that it has no intention of pardoning Snowden so he remains in exile — for now, this is in Russia. Not shy to court controversy — and possibly biting the hand that feeds — he has hit out at the Russian government saying that its control and restrictions it places on the web are a “mistake in policy”.
Although Snowden has asylum in Russia, he has made it clear that he would much prefer to his native USA. Speaking via videophone from Russia while accepting his award for the work he has done for privacy, he said that surveillance and restrictions not do necessarily help to keep citizens safe in the way that governments often claim.
He pointed to the Charlie Hebdo attacks where, despite the assailants being known to French intelligence agencies, nothing was done to stop them.
Speaking about the situation in Russia, he said:
I’ve been quite critical of [it] in the past and I’ll continue to be in the future, because this drive that we see in the Russian government to control more and more the internet, to control more and more what people are seeing… [is] fundamentally wrong.
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