It’s hard to imagine that anyone who’d run to a landfill to seek refuge, would then complain mightily about the horrible smell of the rotting garbage.
Yet that’s what Edward Snowden is doing. Snowden, a 33-year-old computer professional and former National Security Agency contractor, left his home in Hawaii and eventually fled to Russia in 2013 after leaking an overwhelming amount of classified U.S. data on America’s global surveillance efforts.
Snowden was charged in the U.S. in 2013 with violating the Espionage Act. He has won many awards from civil liberties and free speech groups for his whistle-blowing effort.
Now Snowden is criticizing Russia despite that country shielding him from being extradited to the United States to face charges. The New York Times reports that over the weekend, Snowden blasted a Russian law as “an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.”
The lower house of Parliament in Russia on Friday passed the law. Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house, said Monday that her chamber would approve it, too.
The measure includes a provision making it a crime to fail to report the planning of a terrorist act, and it would be a crime to write social media posts that justify terrorism. The law also requires Russian cellular and internet providers to store all communications data for six months and help security services decipher encrypted messages.
Snowden called it “Russia’s new Big Brother law.”
Excuse me. Russia is Big Brother.
Snowden said: “Mass surveillance doesn’t work. This bill will take money and liberty without improving safety.”
The Times reports that Snowden doesn’t plan to die in Russia.
Or stay there for very much longer, obviously.