UPDATE 2-Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in

jueves 17 de abril de 2014 10:48 GYT
 

* Putin tells Snowden Russian surveillance restricted by law

* Snowden asks Putin whether mass surveillance is justified

* Putin's refusal to hand Snowden over has harmed ties (Adds quotes, comment from lawyer, details)

By Steve Gutterman

MOSCOW, April 17 (Reuters) - Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, made a surprise appearance on a TV phone-in hosted by Vladimir Putin on Thursday, asking the Russian president if his country also tapped the communications of millions.

The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia gave the American refuge last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and internet data by the United States and fled the country.

Snowden was not in the studio with Putin, who angered U.S. President Barack Obama by refusing to send the American home to face espionage charges. He submitted his question in a video clip that a lawyer said had been pre-recorded.

Snowden, 30, wearing a jacket and open-collar shirt and speaking before a dark background, asked Putin: "Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, 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?" he asked.   Continuación...