The upper house of Russia’s parliament will invite ex-National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden to participate in a probe of how the privacy of Russian citizens is being violated by big Internet companies who, according to Mr. Snowden, allow the personal data of users of Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and other big global Internet companies to be accessed by a “third party.”
Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia last week, may soon find himself acting as “Exhibit A” in a concerted Russian effort to beef up national electronic security and assert something lawmakers are calling “digital sovereignty” in the wake of the recent revelations about NSA Internet-snooping around the world.
“We want to find out from Snowden how this leaking of personal data happens. It’s time to start working out measures to protect private information on the national and international level. I don’t think he’ll have to break any obligations or commitments to tell us what he knows,” says Senator Ruslan Gattarov, head of the parliamentary commission on privacy rights. “We’re not interested in relationships between governments or struggles between security agencies. We have no questions about what the NSA is getting up to. This is about the security of personal information; it concerns tens of millions of people in Russia and billions around the world,” he adds.