At an annual press conference in Moscow today, Russian president Vladimir Putin stated that the NSA surveillance dragnet is necessary to combat terrorism. According to the AP, Putin said that, while the scandal wasn't a cause for joy, "it's not a cause for repentance either." Instead, the agency's large-scale activities must be limited with clear rules at a political level.
Putin calls for limiting the NSA's appetite with certain rules
Putin, who previously slammed Edward Snowden for leaking the documents that lead to the ongoing spying debacle, stated that the agency's efforts are hampered by its inability to process the massive amount of data it collects. Contrasting with President Obama's NSA review panel, which recommended an end to bulk surveillance yesterday, Putin stated that the US government must "limit the appetite" of the spy agency, though he made no recommendations of his own.
With regard to Snowden, who is currently taking asylum in Moscow, President Putin admitted that he hasn't met with him and isn't controlling his activities. Any new revelations must come from documents he leaked before landing in Russia, he said, reiterating that Snowden will lose refuge in the country if he works against American interests.