Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
Edward Snowden is being ‘exploited’ to attack US under deal he did with Russians to claim asylum, says top spy analyst
- Analyst claims Snowden under orders not to speak out against Russia
- He accused whistleblower of not being ‘transparent’ and being ‘secretive’
- Snowden fled to Russia via Hong Kong after leaking classified documents
Edward Snowden is being ‘exploited’ under a deal he made with the Russians to guarantee him asylum, a leading spy analyst has claimed.
Mr Snowden may have been told not to speak out on Russian surveillance but continue attacking America in order to save himself from jail in the US, Andrei Soldatov said.
He accused the former US spy of not being ‘transparent’ and said he was being ‘secretive’ about his arrangements with the Russian authorities.
Edward Snowden is being ‘exploited’ under a deal he made with the Russians to guarantee him asylum, a leading spy analyst has claimed
After Mr Snowden, 31, revealed himself in June 2013 as the civilian CIA worker who stole a vast tranche of classified documents, he fled to Hong Kong and then Russia where he was given asylum.
The decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin was seen as a snub to US President Barack Obama at a time when relations between the two countries are strained.
But the details of the arrangement have never been made public, and Mr Snowden has never addressed them.
Mr Soldatov, who runs a website which is an online watchdog of Mr Putin’s intelligence agencies, spoke out in an interview with the Daily Beast, a US news and culture website.
Mr Soldatov is also an author, investigative journalist and analyst who has been working on the Russian security state for a decade.
SO THAT’S WHERE HE’S HIDING! INTERNET PRANKSTERS TAG ‘EDWARD’S SNOW DEN’ ON GOOGLE MAPS – RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WHITE HOUSE
It was thought that Edward Snowden was living in a secret location in Russia after his 2013 leaks made him a wanted man by the US Government – but it seems he’s actually set up shop in the middle of the White House.
At least, that’s where the whistleblower is according to Google Maps.
A business called Edward’s Snow Den has appeared in the US President’s headquarters thanks to the clever work of internet pranksters.
Nothing happens when the icon for it is clicked, but for a short while it was listed as a snowboard shop, open between 5am and 11pm, according to thenextweb.com.
Several reviews appeared underneath the listing, including one which gave it a five star rating and described it as a ‘great source of classified information’.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks to European officials via video conference during a parliamentary hearing on improving the protection of whistleblowers, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
He said: ‘I think there is some sort of a deal with the Russian authorities.
‘It seems Snowden insisted that he’d never be used by Russian propaganda.
‘He never made it onto (Russian TV station) RT or other state media outlets and of course they would be happy to have him.
‘He’s clearly being exploited – after all, many repressive measures on the Internet in Russia were presented to Russians as a response to Snowden’s revelations.’
Mr Snowden is still a wanted man in the US where, if he returns, he will face espionage charges that could see him jailed for life if convicted.
Mr Soldatov said: ‘It seems the idea is to stress that he’s just not in the US, he’s somewhere, but not in Russia.
‘I don’t think it was his strategy from the beginning. After all, he questioned (Vladimir) Putin last April during Putin’s annual question-and-answer press conference about mass surveillance in Russia.
‘So my impression is that it’s not his decision.’
Mr Snowden has been branded a traitor in the US and the UK where terrorism experts have said that lives were being lost because he had hampered security service operations.
He stole information which revealed how spying agencies including GCHQ and the NSA monitored citizens’ private information, including call history and emails.
Mr Snowden recently gave an interview to British comedian John Oliver for his weekly US TV show in which he admitted he had not read every document he leaked.
In his toughest grilling to date, Mr Snowden said that he had ‘evaluated’ all the documents but squirmed and gave non-answers when pressed.
He also acknowledged there had been a ‘f***-up’ when newspapers that were handed the classified material failed to redact sensitive details exposing operations against Al Qaeda.