04:58 GMT +325 March 2017
    NSA former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden

    Snowden: I'm 'Not Afraid' of US Return; Notes Rumors Follow Criticism of New Law

    © AFP 2017/ Frederick Florin
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    American whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted Sunday that he is "not afraid" of being sent back to the US, which some have suggested Russia might do as a "gift" to new US President Donald Trump.

    Snowden had previously mocked the sudden mushrooming of rumors saying a transfer was in the works, joking that they finally offered proof that he wasn't working with Russian intelligence, as "no country trades away spies." 

    Snowden's lawyer also pooh-poohed the suggestion.

    Today, Snowden suggested that the rumors cropped up to scare him after he criticized a package of amendments to Russia's criminal code, called the Yarovaya Law, which he called "Big Brother" laws. According to information he shared on Twitter, the new laws, taking effect in 2018, will, among other things, require Russian telecom and internet service providers to store all customer traffic for six months, as well as criminalize a range of expression under the guise of supporting terrorism and potentially limit freedom of assembly in the country. 

    Snowden, of course, famously helped reveal to the world the extend of the US's massive, illegal surveillance program when he shared documentation on it with WikiLeaks in 2013.

    "Days ago, I criticized the Russian government's oppressive new "Big Brother" law. Now, threatening rumors. But I won't stop," he tweeted, following it up with "I don't know if the rumors are true. But I can tell you this: I am not afraid. There are things that must be said no matter the consequence."

    Trump called Snowden a traitor and suggested he should be executed before beginning his presidential campaign. During the campaign, he said Snowden should be dealt with "harshly." He also said if he won the election, Russia would return the whistleblower.  

    Snowden faces charges of espionage and theft of government property in the US. He has been living in Russia since 2013.


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    law, surveillance, extradition, National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, United States, Russia
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    • avatar
      Russia ITSELF said that it had NOTHING TO DO WITH SNOWDEN and that the deportation was, "FAKE NEWS".
      Maybe saving all 3 years is BETTER. Russia MUST develop own system as NOT to depend on PARTNERS that are LIARS , CHEATS and TRAITORS.

      Snowden is doing fine in Russia and I bet people LOVE him as any other citizen. well WE KNOW WHO DOESN'T. they AWAY.
      PERHAPS THEY COULD INK HIM A SWEET DEAL. Like 10 years at a minimum, I heard they can work from there. Close to home. Then say 10 in probation and IF anything more, how about a bracelet?
      they will have to INK with stiff penalties to U.S, like 1B a day, IF they harass or torture Snowden , and a 25 years in Russian Gulag, with extra hard labor for the perpetrators. And ANYONE ordering it...
      THAT will pout a BRAKE, a BIG DETENTE OR>>>>>>>......
    • avatar
      This could ONLY benefit FAKE NEWS MAKERS In Russia and abroad, AKA, CNN, BBC etc.
    • avatar
      Snowden may be right and I advise him to heed that warning. He agreed not to be an activist and to just live a peaceful life, to not cause trouble. He''s been yapping about political complaints of both the US and Putin since the first approval of his stay.

      All he has to do is shut up, and be grateful that Putin helped him, instead of being a back-stabber jerk. Snowden's entire team appear to be Russian Opposition types, probably Mikhail Prokhorov. With over 80% of Russians supporting Putin, being anti-Putin is being anti-Russian.

      Putin: Snowden can stay in Russia if he stops damaging USA
    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      Snowden's fight is in the US, not Russia, which gave him asylum. He doesn't need to get involved in Russia's internal politics. He needs to choose his battles. The solution is simple: Leave Russian internal politics to Russians, don't overextend, and don't do anything to harm those who are helping you.

      It would be inconceivable under such conditions that Russia would ever cast him out of his exile sanctuary.
    • Gary F.
      Yes, countries wont trade spies, but they want to place them in all soft of interesting locations. the problem is as everyone announces their spies, that those spies are of little use when it comes something really interesting. however covering up a spy to look like something different, is very, very difficult. yet, sometimes it is success, sometimes not so. and either way, both avenues are short and tight. the cruel fact is that most of the 0ld governments want to be global now, even when that may not be practical for some. for that purpose, it is good to have also people spread around, in all sort of roles. victims and traitors, so called, are perhaps most useful ones. think about it for a while.
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