MOSCOW – US fugitive Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding intelligence surveillance programs in the world showed Russia “nothing new”, but hastened its drive to ensure cyber-security, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday.
“Our technology experts didn’t hear anything unexpected, it’s just the naked truth that we already knew from other sources,” Rogozin told journalists regarding the leaks made by the ex-National Security Agency contractor, who is awaiting the result of his Russian asylum application in a Moscow airport.
The leaked information however “pushes us to act and hastens the creation of our own base of electronic components which we cannot do without,” Rogozin added.
Russia has long expressed concern that it relies overwhelmingly on foreign-made microchips and other components, even in its military sector.
“The issue is information security,” said Rogozin. “When we buy foreign machines, these machines are outfitted with programme support, which can have certain implants, and these implants can work at a certain moment to turn off the machine or to transmit certain information.”
“The key elements of this component base should be made on Russian territory,” he added, Russian news agencies reported.
Snowden has arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong with several laptops reportedly containing classified information after leaking details of US surveillance operations at home and abroad.
The 30-year-old has stayed in Sheremetyevo airport since June 23 while the United States has revoked his passport and demanded that Moscow hand him over to face felony charges.