Experts say Edward Snowden’s public questioning of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the former National Security Agency contractor is firmly in the Kremlin’s grasp.
They said it is hard to imagine that Snowden was not prompted and coached to pose his question about domestic surveillance in Russia to the country’s leader.
And the answer he got in return, they said — that none of Russia’s programs reached the size and scope of anything at the National Security Agency (NSA) — was most likely a lie.
“They’ve got him by the shorthairs,” said James Lewis, director of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“He knows from his NSA days that their surveillance system — their domestic surveillance system — puts ours to shame, and the fact that he’s calling in with these questions, he’s [got to be] sitting in the room with a guy with a gun.”