Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law
Published time: June 11, 2013 14:53
Edited time: June 11, 2013 17:41
Data surveillance is an acceptable measure if done within the law, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told RT while visiting the channel in the capital.
“Such methods are in demand. But you can’t just listen to the phone call in Russia; you need a special order from court. This is how this should be done in civilized society while tackling terrorism with the use of any technical means. If it is in the framework of the law, then it’s ok. If not it is unacceptable,” Putin said answering the question of RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan. Commenting on Obama’s statement that “You can’t have 100 per cent security and 100 per cent privacy,” Putin disagreed, saying it is possible if done within the law.
Russia said it could consider the possibility of granting political asylum to 29-year-old Edward Snowden, if such request is made. The ex-CIA worker disclosed the existence of PRISM, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data-mining surveillance program, to The Guardian.
“If we receive such a request, we will consider it,” President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
The whereabouts of whistleblower remain unknown after he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel. A day earlier Snowden revealed his identity to The Guardian newspaper.
‘Syria should have undertaken reform in due time’
Speaking about the conflict in Syria, the president said it was possible to avoid the civilian war by conducting reforms in due time.
“Syria as a country was rife for some kind of change. And the government of Syria should have felt that in due time and should have undertaken some reform,” Putin said. “Had they done that, what we’re seeing in Syria today would have never happened.”
However, he added, one should take into account that the entire Middle East is currently finding itself in a state of uncertainty and conflict – and it’s wrong to try and interfere from outside.
"From the outside some people think that if you bring the entire region in compliance with someone’s specific idea of democracy, things will settle down, and everything will be all right in that region. But that’s not true. Considering that region’s background history, culture, religion – you cannot interfere with it from the outside.”
Putin pointed out that the West is supporting some certain organizations that are fighting Assad in Syria, and they are countering "those very same groups" in Mali.
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