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Edward Snowden says it's a 'dark day' in Russia after Vladimir Putin introduces draconian new surveillance laws

The Independent The Independent 8/07/2016 Katie Forster

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Whistleblower and press freedom activist Edward Snowden has condemned a new law signed on Thursday by Vladimir Putin, saying it's a “dark day for Russia”.

The new anti-terror legislation forces telephone carriers and internet providers to store the private communications of their customers – and turn them over to the government on request.

“Putin has signed a repressive new law that violates not only human rights, but common sense. Dark day for Russia,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Snowden is a former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA) who exposed global surveillance programmes in 2013 through a leak of classified NSA documents.

The whistleblower joined Twitter in September and has more than 2.2 million followers. However, he only follows one account on the social network – that of the NSA.

Russian communication providers may have to spend more than $30 billion to implement the new laws, Mr Snowden added in a second tweet.

“Signing the Big Brother law must be condemned. Beyond political and constitution consequences, it is also a $33b+ tax on Russia's internet,” he wrote.

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