Privacy

Edward Snowden is not only upset with the United States government when it comes to Internet privacy. He is also concerned with Russia's new Internet laws, which appear to downgrade its citizens' online privacy.

In an op-ed article that appeared in Friday's issue of the New York Times, Snowden congratulated the United States and Congress for its recent moves to outlaw the National Security Agency's telephone call surveillance programs, which were spying on almost all cellphone calls that happened in the United States, according to Snowden.

After Snowden exposed the NSA's domestic spying program, he had to run away to Russia to avoid being arrested and prosecuted. Russia's President Vladimir Putin gave Snowden asylum and a three-year permit to reside in the country.

Russia Has Been Tightening Its Censorship Laws

That said, ever since Snowden has arrived in Russia, the country has been tightening its laws relating to Internet privacy and censorship. Particularly, Russia has been restricting Internet users' promotion of extremist views by censoring bloggers, news sites and other online publications. Furthermore, Russia is instituting Internet laws requiring corporations to save personal data relating to Russian citizens. These laws will go into force next September.

In Snowden's New York Times op-ed he wrote, “After a White House-appointed oversight board investigation found that this program had not stopped a single terrorist attack, even the president who once defended its propriety and criticized its disclosure has now ordered it terminated." Snowden further claimed, "This is the power of an informed public."

Companies Forced to Work Against Their Customers, Snowden Says

Snowden also mentioned how companies worldwide are receiving pressure from their governments to work against their customers' rather than for them, by collecting statistics and information about them. He also said that countries continue to use the threat of terrorist attacks as justification for invading the civil privacy rights of their citizens, including France, Canada, Australia and the U.K.

Snowden did not mention the terrorist attacks that have hit these countries over the last six months. Many countries are worried that Jihadists and other terrorists can communicate with sympathetic individuals inside their borders through the use of sophisticated encryption technology.

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