German broadcaster ARD has released an advance copy of their interview that took place with Edward Snowden on January 26th, previewing 40 minutes out of the six hours that will premiere later this week.
Filmed at a hotel suite in Moscow (where Snowden has been granted asylum for one year, starting last month), the interview by German public broadcasting network ARD covered a range of topics including his current state of mind, details about his life in Russia, and what the latest leaks about industrial espionage meant for warfare in the 21st century.
Siemens, known to many as one of the top PLC controller manufacturers in the world, has its hands stuck in just about any flavor of pie you can imagine when it comes to industrial computing solutions. Their units are in the heart and brain of everything from hydroelectric dams to the front gate at your rich uncle’s house. With the ability to hack these sensitive machines, you could shut down entire power plants with the push of a button, regardless of country or region.
The implications of this discovery are massive, assuming the government is taking interest for the same reasons we think they are. This means that in a time of war, instead of bombing electrical grids via the classical B-52-based solution, we could simply disable their entire system from a couple thousand miles away at home base in Forte Meade, Maryland.
“If there’s information at Siemens that’s beneficial to U.S. national interests—even if it doesn’t have anything to do with national security—then they’ll take that information nevertheless.”
Based out of Germany, this news strikes yet another blow in the trans-Atlantic relations between the United States and their country, who had already strained ties about as far as they can stretch with the news that the US had been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone.
During the interview Snowden expressed concern for his personal safety, claiming there were “several government agencies” out in the world who wanted him dead. He emphasized that it was out of his hands now, and that all the documents taken during the months he worked for the NSA had been distributed in full to journalists at NBC News, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and Der Spiegel.
“These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket and then watch me die in the shower,” Snowden said.
I’m still alive and don’t lose sleep for what I did because it was the right thing to do.”
Overall however, Snowden came off as unphased by his current status on the Top 10 Most Wanted list, and even seemed to relish in new notoriety as someone who knows they risked their lives in order to do the right thing.
His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, is not as convinced that his client is protected as well as he should be by asylum alone. Speaking with Russian channel Vesti 24, Kucherena told reporters he has contacted Russian officials to request an increased security presence stacked on top of the small private army already hired to follow Snowden around and keep him away from harm.