April 17 - Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden calls Russian Vladimir Putin during his televised question and answer session with the nation to ask about mass surveillance. Nathan Frandino reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country does not carry out mass indiscriminate surveillance. In his live question and answer telethon address, Putin received a question from none other than former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden, who revealed last year that the U.S. government was collecting private communications from its citizens through the National Security Agency, is in Russia under temporary asylum. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. SPY AGENCY CONTRACTOR EDWARD SNOWDEN, SAYING (SPEAKING VIA VIDEO LINK FROM UNKNOWN LOCATION): "Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals, and do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify placing societies, rather than subjects, under surveillance?" The former KGB agent addressed Snowden with frankness. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Modern means of communications are used by criminal elements, including terrorists, for their criminal activity. And of course, special services should accordingly, within that circle, use modern means and react and fight the crime, including crime of a terrorist nature. And of course we do that too. But that mass surveillance, indiscriminate surveillance we certainly do not allow ourselves, and we hope, I very much hope, will never allow in the future." Putin finished saying that Russia did not have neither the technical nor financial means to do so.