Monday, July 1

An Open Letter to Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on the matter of Edward Snowden

Dear Mr President:

Greetings from Washington, D.C.! Please excuse my American English as my Russian is nonexistent and my French so rusty that I would insult French readers if I attempted the language in this writing.

Recently Igor M Bunin, director of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow, in speaking to the New York Times about the problems that Edward Snowden could make for the Russian government, cited what seems to be a Russian folk saying: "Snowden is like a hot meat pie in your hands: even if you want to eat it very much, it's very hot and maybe it's better to throw it on the floor."

We have a folk saying here in America: "When God hands you a lemon, make lemonade."

In a few short months, in September, President Barack Obama will be visiting Russia. If Mr Snowden was invited to stay as a guest in Russia at least up until September, he and the Russian government could provide an invaluable service to all the world's peoples in two ways, as follows:

1. Mr Snowden could help organize an international conference in Moscow that would lay the groundwork for international agreements aimed at eradicating cyber warfare. The conference would run concurrently with Mr Obama's visit so that he and the security advisors traveling with him could attend.

2. In the months leading up to September, Mr Snowden could give public lectures in Russia about the grave danger of cyber warfare and governments deploying this kind of war in secret. And he could lecture on the danger of governments deploying the latest computer technologies to surveil their own citizens in secret.

If there is any one person who could draw public attention to the urgency and gravity of the cyber war issue, it would be Edward Snowden. And if there is any one country that could protect Mr Snowden and give him a platform to warn all peoples and teach them about the dangers of cyber war, it is Russia.

I might add that if Mr Snowden was involved in the kind of conference I propose, he would be able to draw the attendance of companies from around the world that have a large stake in maintaining Internet freedom and preventing it from becoming a battlefield between governments.

Thank you, President Putin, for your attention to my suggestions.

Sincerely yours,


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