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Snowden Asks Putin a Question on Call-In Show

Journalists listen to a speech and a question posed by former U.S. spy agency NSA contractor Edward Snowden, at a media center during President Vladimir Putin's live broadcast nationwide phone-in on Thursday.

U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who received asylum in Russia last year, appeared in a video call during President Vladimir Putin's televised call-in show, asking him a question about surveillance in Russia.

Snowden is sought by the United States on charges of leaking secret documents related to surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency. Speaking in English on a video call, Snowden told Putin that surveillance on citizens has been demonstrated to be ineffective in fighting terrorism and asked him whether the Russian government collected its citizens' data.

After one of the show's hosts translated the question for Putin — who said American English was "a bit different" — Putin said such surveillance on citizens was not carried out "on a mass scale." He also said a court order was needed.

Putin added that Russia's security services were under the strict control of the government and the population.

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