Snowden Calls Into Putin Telethon To Discuss Legality Of Mass Surveillance

Tyler Durden's picture

While the western media paints Vladmir Putin as some cross between Napoleon and Hitler marauding across Europe breaking international laws willy-nilly, there is one red line he is apparently unwilling to cross. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, none other than Edward Snowden called in to a Putin live telethon and asked the Russian President: "Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?" Putin's response (whether true or not) is worth paying attention to by his opponent on the world stage: "Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country."

Via RT,

Russian intelligence agencies use special media to tap and spy only after a court decision, says Vladimir Putin, answering the question by former NSA agent Edward Snowden on whether the Russian government spies online.


The Russian president said that he like Snowden used to work as a former intelligence officer and said that there is no mass scale or uncontrollable surveillance in Russia as there is in America.


“Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country”, Putin said.


Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked detailed National Security Agency documents on how information is stockpiled on millions of Americans as well as world leaders, appeared via a video link from an undisclosed location to ask Vladimir Putin his question.

It seems even Putin won't publicly cross that red line...

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TeamDepends's picture

And Russia appears freer and more constitutionally-minded than the US.  Hey look, a flying pig!

Harrison's picture

Of course, if you become known to the authorities, you'll end up with polonium in your soup. But what's a little polonium between frenemies, right?

BandGap's picture

Here we use nail guns and unbridled gravity.

Oquities's picture

when i was young, Russian freedom lovers looked to the US for inspiration.  now that i am old, freedom lovers in the US must look to Russia for inspiration.

Azannoth's picture

This happened in less than 20 years not even enough a generation!

jbvtme's picture

i'm a skeptic until i see putin's birth certificate...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

He doesn't have one, the tortoise eating cattle ate it. 

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

How come there was only one fat guy in the audience behind the moderator in Moscow?  American studio audiences behind Omompants are full of much more robust-looking individuals.  These poor Russians - they to this day go hungry!

Cap Matifou's picture

The obese are the functional starving, gobbling up sad garbage, that their body cannot process or excrete, just suspend in fatty tissue (which cannot be worked off, for that would mean the toxins are released again).

DaveyJones's picture

I especially like the utterly stupid and provocative statement by our president that Putin better do XYZ or he'll regret it because of our "superior weapons." Obama (and his handlers) continue to miss the fact that the bluff has been called. The Ukranian issue was generated by western europe telling an already divided country to chose one or another. Putin tried to negotiate positions and the west continued to provoke. The US is just now realizing Putin is in it for the long haul and is falling on the bluff. Between Snowden's revelations and Putin's sudden popularity rise, America has become the aging prom queen, fat, tired and the only one convinced she's still popular    

zerozulu's picture

Putin, new leader of the free world.

chinoslims's picture

"leader of the free world" sounds like an oxymoron.

PT's picture

I don't believe you.

And my computer told me that the first two videos don't exist.  But I don't believe my computer.  Especially when it cannot keep up with my typing. 

Oh regional Indian's picture

Ah PT, my apologies. It looks like they were too inconvenient.

Did you see the Billy Boy one though?

I'll edit the other tow out... thanks...


TheReplacement's picture

If you believe what you just posted I have a bridge to sell you.  Actually, that's a lie.

new game's picture

oh r i - your stuff has a smell about it. try some freash air! what do you smoke?

i wish the world was like you envision, but it is not so and could only happen with 6 billion less humans.

Againstthelie's picture


It may be true or not about hypnotic trance. The other video could be simply from a test of topics with a videocamera. But one thing this video is proove of: the man in front of the audience was completely different than the man behind the curtain. For the audience the smiling, sympathetic, grounded politician, but in reality a cold heartless human monster (speak gently, but always carry a stick behind your back - hailed freemason Roosevelt).

Thanks for sharing.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

and the old skool commie die-hards in Russia look to the US for central planning idealisms, while old skool US capitalists look admiringly upon the energy investment options in the former USSR

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

You turds are eating this shit up like squealing school girls used to believe the arranged relationships between gay movie stars and young starlets. Stop being so damn gullible.

StandardDeviant's picture

Really.  A softball question from someone who, unfortunately, must depend on Putin's good graces to stay out of prison (and who somehow happened to get through to the telethon line); and an answer that strains credulity, from a former KGB agent.  Well, that settles it, then.

Seems a lot of the conspiracy theorists around here are only skeptical in one particular direction.  Guess what?  The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.

Telemakhos's picture

This.  The Russian internet intercept system is called SORM.  The hardware is installed at the ISP's expense, and the Russian law enforcement, tax authorities, border patrol, and spy agencies all use it to eavesdrop on citizens' communications without a warrant or court oversight as of 2000.  Actually, rolling back privacy protections and expanding domestic surveillance was one of Putin's first acts in office as president (he had been prime minister before that).  

Do the Russians know how to break encryption to the same extent that the NSA does?  Probably not, but that's mostly a function of funding levels for hiring researchers: they're certainly intercepting anything that's plaintext.

Check out:

The last line of StandardDeviant's post should be a mantra for ZH: "The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend."

Boxed Merlot's picture

The last line of StandardDeviant's post should be a mantra for ZH: "The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend."...



Why do / did I feel so reluctant to respond to this obvious observation? 


As an aside, I had to laugh recently when the misses told me not to dig out and salvage the nearly new bar of soap she threw away recently from out of the waste basket.  She said she tried to use it several times but couldn't get it to wipe clean.  I asked her if it was made from female liposuctioned material.  She said she didn't know but since it was given to her as a gift from a "wealthy" relative as a holiday gift she felt it good to try to put it to good use.   All to no avail.  I told her I would see to it it was disposed of properly.


Too much fun.



Boxed Merlot's picture

…like squealing school girls used to believe …


As long as there is no perceived penalty for lying, deceiving and being deceived we tend to enjoy not only watching our leaders participate and even promote the behavior, but find no reason why we too should not do the same.  The fact is there are penalties for encouraging deceit, not the least of which is we become so fearful of verity our lives are spent believing there is no such thing as truth.



…”For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness…”

2Thess. 2:7-12








hankwil74's picture

Because you believe Putin?  Because he's such an honest guy?  Call Bill Browder and ask him how honest Putin is.

TheReplacement's picture

Yeah but Putie has nice Super Bowl ring...

SamAdams's picture

"Unbridled gravity", is clever.  Almost as good as "structural sympathy" (WT7).

The_Prisoner's picture

Are you referring to Litvinenko, the MI6 agent?

Joe A's picture

The difference between polonium and DU is that the former kills you faster.

BudFox2012's picture

Yeah, we probably are due for another distraction.  Are there any Kardasian sisters that aren't dating a rapper yet?  How about another missing plane, that seems to keep peoples attention for LONG time?  Maybe another American Idol show will do the trick, or a 2nd NFL season this year...

Cathartes Aura's picture

is Snowden himself not enough to distract?  with his scripted heroism, and gifted awards to all newsy-sources?  and ongoing inter-actions with the hero-worshiped Putin?

talk about an ongoing narrative created to entertain. . .

what does the holy Greenwald say?  what does his intercept'd paymaster, who helped fund the current episode of global "crisis" have in the scandal-queue-blog?

subscribe today!  get the latest dribble!!  every week something released in bite-sized chunks!!!


TheMeatTrapper's picture

Snowden is no distraction. Americans who actually know who Snowden is aren't "distracted" - they mostly value his willingness to ruin his life to shed light on the criminal behavior of the government. Those who don't know who he is, which is most Americans, already are distracted. 

The reason the information is being dribbled out is to keep the focus on the criminal behavior of the government. How is that a "distraction"? A "distraction" would be something designed to put the focus on something other than the criminal behavior of the government - like constantly declaring the Russians to be the bad guys or trying to go to war with Syria. 

Cathartes Aura's picture

trying to suss out Omidyar’s secret anti-government essence  is one more variation on the good oligarch/bad oligarch nonsense that underlies our sham politics, where every two years we laboriously tweeze out the pube of difference between two corrupt political parties and where Koch Industries is regarded as uniquely evil in relation to such good corporate citizens as BP and Bank of America. While it’s certainly always useful to expose the mess that toxic inequality makes all over the world, for our present purposes, everything you really need to know is encapsulated in this line from the Ames/Levine piece –

…the fabled “civic-minded billionaire”—you’ll find him two doors down from the tooth fairy.

specially scripted narrative that appeals to the voting-classes.  drip-fed episodically, for fun & profit$.

if you like your Heroes, you can keep your Heroes.

Skateboarder's picture

I stand by your criticism. Snowden is a manufactured 'hero.' Anyone with an ounce of sense in their noggin can see that.

Cathartes Aura's picture

controlled opposition.

released "information" in slow episodic format - just like the TeeVee dramas, hmm.

folks do love to follow their leaders tho'

Skateboarder's picture

If I learned one thing in my life, it's that people fucking love teevee dramas.

Help us lord.

Socratic Dog's picture

It's a TV drama for you, skateboarder.  I doubt it is for Snowden.  As someone said above, he was willing to ruin his life.  To risk life in prison, or execution.  And for what?  To try and awaken the masses to what is really going on.  Unfortunately the masses don't want to be awakened.  Too bad.

What great deeds had you performed by the time you were 35 years old?

Cynical prick.

Skateboarder's picture

Where is the rest of the information? And what happened on nine elevs, Eddie?

Call me what you want, SocDog, but this fool's story doesn't check out, and his interview answers are scripted and memorized to a tee.

One does not simply walk into Mordor...

ebear's picture

"One does not simply walk into Mordor..."

A jew, an irishman and a catholic priest walk into Mordor.....

insert humorous dialog here: ________________

ebear's picture

"Those who don't know who he is, which is most Americans, already are distracted."

I'm well aware of Edward Snowden, but even so, I'm still not sure who he actually is.  I'm not American though, so I guess that doesn't count.

As for the softball Q&A, I'm not sure whose credibility was hurt more - his, or Putin's.

Or was that meant as parody?  Some subtle form of Russian humor I'm not familiar with?

WillyGroper's picture

Welcome back CA.

Always appreciate your POV.

Cathartes Aura's picture

thanks WillyG.

someone has to play contrary-mary in the ongoing narrative, eh?

"Russian President Vladimir Putin said U.S. President Barack Obama would save him if he was drowning because he is a decent and courageous person."


awww, so cute. . .

Global Hunter's picture

No doubt Putin is no angel, but I wonder sometimes if their strategy is to be honest and uphold a rule of law, never lie or spin just to demoralize the citizens of the west.  It doesn't seem like a contest any longer, I would feel much better if my side just acted humble for once and shut up.  Why should Putin/Russia do much more, we're destroying ourselves while he sits back and looks dignified.

Azannoth's picture

Exactly Russia does not need a war they will simply wait 10-20 year and the West will have disintegrated by it self. The only party wanting war IS the West, to bring down the rest of humanity to it's level of missery. BTW the same forces that ruled Russia from 1917-1989(The Jewish Bolsheviks) are the same forces ruling the West today!

centerline's picture

Putin is just playing off the hypocrisy of Western governments.  Which at this point is about as easy as pie.

It is brilliant in its simplicity.  Western governments are doing more damage on a daily basis to thier own credibility, economies, citizens, freedoms, etc. than anything or anyone outside could ever do.  All he needs to do is play off of this and the public will follow... particularly in regions that ZH has been pointing out.

He also probably knows like us that the course of action for Western governments is locked on course and will not change.  His intel/analysis must indicate that the point of no return has safely been passed and it is now possible to begin turning up the heat.

He is a very dangerous individual though.  No beacon of freedom or liberty there.  We are not seeing what he stands for.  He is only projecting Western government corruption back onto itself... and allowing everyone else to assume that therefore he must stand from something better.  Out of the frying pan and into the fire is what I think.  The whole world needs a major courtesy flush and a fresh start with all these asshats removed from power.


Omen IV's picture

Obama has given more than 1800 speeches since he has been in office - he believes in the power of the telepromter  - ergo endless bullshit!

rum_runner's picture

>> just to demoralize the citizens of the west


You think anyone over her is actually paying any fucking attention?  Good Lord, man, you're living in a fantasy if you think Americans are glum because of geopolitics and variances in rule of law of USA (USA! USA!) vs Russia.  Most Americans can't think past their bulging guts.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Putin doesn't need to be an angel. The people of the West (and especially Americans) have grown up believing they have the moral high ground. All Putin must do is show them their governments are just as corrupt and dirty as the rest of the world.

Let the demoralization continue...