Strange days indeed; also see In Scripted Surprise, Putin Answers Snowden on Spying (NYT) and Sorry, Snowden: Putin Lied to You About His Surveillance State—And Made You a Pawn of It (Daily Beast)
""Does Russia intercept, store, or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" Snowden asked. "And do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify placing societies, rather than subjects, under surveillance?"Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance • The Register
Responding through a translator, Putin glibly said that since he used to work for an intelligence agency and Snowden is himself a former spy, the two could speak "one professional language."
"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according with our law it cannot exist," Putin said."