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Snowden exchanges encrypted messages with father

Published time: August 15, 2013 16:50
Edited time: August 15, 2013 18:04
Lon Snowden (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

Lon Snowden (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, has directly communicated with his father for the first time since fleeing the US. The relatives talked on an encrypted Internet chat on Wednesday, ignoring warnings from lawyers of possible interception by US intelligence.

The move was criticized by Edward Snowden’s legal representative in Russia, Anatoly Kucherena, who urged the family to refrain from such forms of communications until father Lon Snowden arrives in Moscow.

"I understand the feelings of Edward and his father. It appears that they have turned out to be more powerful than the concern for safety,” Kucherena told Interfax news agency. “But I would recommend that they won’t get in touch via the Internet anymore and wait until meeting in person."

The decision to use the web to get in touch with his son was made by Lon Snowden “independently, in spite of legal advice from his attorneys,” an unnamed source with knowledge of the issue told ITAR-TASS news agency.

The source added that besides fears of interception by US security services such form of communication makes it problematic to verify if Lon Snowden was actually talking to his son or somebody else.  

The American lawyers insist that all communications within the Snowden family should happen through Kucherena’s mediation as it was done previously.

“We must understand that security is the No.1 issue in his [Snowden’s] case”
as the whistleblower has the world’s largest state after him, the lawyer stated previously.

Snowden Sr. has already received a Russian visa, saying that he’s planning to come to Moscow this week, without naming the exact date.

Kucherena, previously, stated the NSA leaker will make the important decision on his future only after a family council with his father.

Edward Snowden has received a one-year asylum in Russia on August 1 after spending over a month in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

The former CIA employee arrived in the Russian capital on June 23 on a flight from Hong Kong where he fled just before secret US government surveillance programs were revealed to the public.