First of all, in my rush to write up the Snowden / Russian residence permit thing, I overlooked a key aspect of Snowden testifying in Germany, or anywhere else: Vlad the Putinator’s condition that he not do anything “aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips.”
This has so far been the reason that Snowden refused to testify in Germany via video link or at the German embassy. The condition means that, if Snowden says something that really damages the US “all seeing eye” and its ability to spy on Germany… he would lose his Russian residency.
Therefore, if he’s to deliver some serious testimony (such as the German parliamentary commission seems to want, and others certainly would) the German government must be prepared to provide him residency in the event the Russians decide they don’t want him anymore because of what he said.
All this means that the “travel” clause in Snowden’s new Russian visa is less testimony-friendly than I thought.
Anyone wanting Snowden’s in-depth testimony still must be willing to grant him residency… but, this is no longer a foregone conclusion. Previously, if Snowden left Russia, his visa went “poof” automatically. Now, Snowden can leave Russkieland for up to 3 months, and he’ll be able to return unless the Russkies actively decide otherwise.
However this does address ANOTHER issue which was raised by the German parliamentarians — the one of, “what happens if we go to all this trouble and he doesn’t say anything new?”
In other words…
*** Edward Snowden Now Comes With A 90-Day, Zero-Hassle, No-Questions-Asked Guarantee!!! ***
That’s right! You can test-drive Ed Snowden’s earth-shattering testimony in the comfort of your very own parliament… at NO RISK TO YOU!
If Ed does NOT deliver on his promise to reveal astonishing violations of your country’s law by the US National Security State, no problem! Just put him on the next plane back to Moscow. Your credit card will NOT be charged!
But, you have to hurry. This offer is not available in stores, and… quantities are STRICTLY LIMITED. So pick up the phone and call 1-800-SNOWDEN to claim YOUR whistleblower today!
Hey phreaks, is 1-800-SNOWDEN valid and available? Someone oughta do something about that if it is…
Back to the news…
The Anglo-German commercial spyware company Gamma International/FinFisher was recently hacked  and all 40-odd gigs dumped in public for everyone to pick through. 
Not unsurprisingly, it seems they were indeed selling to Bahrain & other nasty regimes just as the Bahrainis were using their software to find and torture people. (The FinFisher folks previously denied this.)
There are a couple of meta-noteworthy things about this story, also. For one, the hacker took an “anti-Snowden” approach. Rather than partnering with specific journalists, he did what JYA & Wikileaks have been calling for (w.r.t Snowden’s docs).
The hacker dumped everything in public, for world+dog to pick through in hopes they’d find interesting stuff. (Well, “public” in the sense of r/anarchism) We’ll see how well that works for him.