I've really struggled with aspects of this case. On one hand, I do see a certain heroic nature to Edward Snowden confirming the existence of the NSA data collection programs, but I find something troubling. He is now seeking asylum in a nation, which has demonstrated far less respect for civil liberties than the one he fled.
It almost seems ironic, as the liberty versus security argument seems to not apply to himself. As a Russian citizen, what will be his moral stance on civil liberties in his new nation. Surely he will not test the Russian legal system, anymore than he would have the Chinese.
Russia spies on its own people as well as people abroad. Why is that okay?
Of course the answer is simple. It is one of self preservation. Returning to the US would mean spending a long time in prison. So, rather than face prison, seek comfort from a nation which will grant asylum for the sole purpose of thumbing their nose at the US.
It isn't like Russia supports the rights of whistle blowers. They've gone so far as to murder them on foreign soil, long after the fact. It also isn't like Russia hasn't exploited the threat of terrorism to enact larger political agendas.
It is what it is I guess, but the whole moral high ground kind of goes right out the window.