Moscow – On Thursday, Russia announced its granting of temporary asylum to former intelligence analyst and National Security Administration [NSA] whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
The one year of asylum has furthered weakened the already strained diplomatic relationship between Moscow and Washington. In a June interview with The Guardian, the 29-year old Snowden gave a scathing critique of U.S. policy that sent ripples throughout the intelligence community:
“I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
The Obama Administration contends the decision required approval from President Vladimir Putin. In a recent press conference on the Snowden matter, White House spokesperson, Jay Carney stated,
“Simply the possession of that kind of highly sensitive classified information outside of secure areas is both a huge risk and a violation. As we know he’s been in Russia now for many weeks. There is a huge risk associated with … removing that information from secure areas. You shouldn’t do it, you can’t do it, it’s wrong.”
Snowden’s asylum has President Obama considering whether or not to attend bilateral meetings with Putin during the G20 Summit scheduled for September to take place in Russia.
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