IT’S NOW CLEAR THAT EDWARD SNOWDEN’S LIFE IS DICTATED BY RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE

Business Insider on November 1, 2013, reported that even as Edward Snowden’s disclosures of U.S. spying continue to create global waves, it’s becoming clear that the American’s life is supervised by Russian intelligence agents. Excerpts below:

“He’s actually surrounded by these people,” Andrei Soldatov, an investigative journalist who co-authored a history of the Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), told Steven Lee Meyers of The New York Times.

That has appeared to be the case since the 30-year-old arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23, when a radio host in Moscow “saw about 20 Russian officials, supposedly FSB agents, in suits, crowding around somebody in a restricted area of the airport,” according to Anna Nemtsova of Foreign Policy.

“When the F.S.B. actually got him, they started to handle it their own way,” Soldatov told The Times. “This is the way the security services operate all the time.”

Snowden’s life in Russia has been overseen by Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer employed by the FSB, as well as Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks advisor who has reportedly been by Snowden’s side since he was in China.

From Meyer’s report in the Times:

The security services now protecting Mr. Snowden, [Soldatov] said, might not even try to question him soon on what he knows — perhaps the greatest worry of American officials — but rather simply let him live in such circumstances and become increasingly dependent on them.

The unusual circumstances raise two significant questions. The first involves what the Russians can potentially glean from Snowden; the second involves the role of WikiLeaks.

[Snowden’s] information includes not only the “blueprints of the NSA” but also 30,000 documents that do “not deal with NSA surveillance but primarily with standard intelligence about other countries’ military capabilities, including weapons systems,” according to a report in the Washington Post.

And following Snowden outing himself on June 9 and subsequently parting with the journalists, he leaked specific IP addresses in China and Hong Kong the NSA was hacking to the South China Morning Post. He also told SCMP: “If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment.”

No matter how all of the documents left his possession in Hong Kong, Snowden’s ability to pull off the leak of the century means he has an enormous amount of highly valuable information in his head.

“Snowden understood exactly how far he could push [the NSA],” Robert Caruso, a former assistant command security manager in the Navy and consultant, told Business Insider in July. “That, coupled with his successful exploitation of our entire vetting process, makes him very dangerous.”

WikiLeaks met with Snowden in Hong Kong after he went underground and facilitated his arrival in Moscow. The organization has clearly been coordinating with the FSB since Harrison is by Snowden’s side, the FSB surrounds him, and WikiLeaks arranged for four former U.S. government officials to present him with a whistleblower award in Moscow.

Despite those uncertainties, Snowden’s father told the Times that he knew very little about his son’s life in Russia and declined to detail what he did know, saying that the “story isn’t really about him at this point.”

[Snowden’s] vulnerability after landing in the hands of the Kremlin is a reason to worry.

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