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Snowden faces uncertain future as Russian visa expires

Edward Snowden’s temporary Russian visa expired today.

Snowden bolted to Moscow after numerous countries rejected his request for asylum one year ago. At the last minute, Russian president Vladimir Putin granted the former National Security Agency systems administrator a one year visa. He’s been in Moscow and its suburbs ever since.

Now the visa has expired. And the question is, what happens next?

It’s anybody’s guess. Snowden revealed in a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper that he had reached out through back channels to U.S. officials about the possibility of returning to the States if he was guaranteed a fair trial. Snowden said that guarantee was not given.

This may have been bluster. A former high-level intelligence official told VentureBeat Tuesday that he had no knowledge of a request having been made. If Snowden did reach out, it was likely to the Justice or State Department. The official said that, had a request been made, it would have been brought to his attention.

Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena is Snowden’s Moscow lawyer and also acts as his spokesperson. Kucherena said in an interview with Russian media Thursday that Snowden had been granted not a visa or political asylum but a “temporary leave to remain in Russia.”

Either way, Snowden is still wanted by U.S. authorities on espionage charges. Snowden is accused of illicitly downloading over a million NSA files that disclosed some of the agency’s most covert intelligence collection efforts. These efforts included siphoning data from Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. The release of the top secret files caused a global firestorm that still continues to reverberate.

An American attorney who has worked on behalf of Snowden, Jesselyn Radack, told Australian radio that Snowden misses home. Snowden, 31, is originally from Maryland.

“I know ultimately he would love to be able to come home, or seek refuge in a country of his choice,” she said.

Not much is known about Snowden’s time in Russia. Former KGB major general Oleg Kalugin told VentureBeat that Snowden is now working for the Russian security service, the FSB, as a technical consultant and that he likely cooperated with his Russian hosts in order to stay in the country.

More information:

Edward Snowden is an American former technical contractor for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British gov... read more »

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15 comments
Chuck Fresh
Chuck Fresh

From these comments, it is apparent that the fluoridated water is working.

Jesse Green
Jesse Green

Come back to the USA. There is free room and water boarding, I mean board, for you here

Michael L. Plumb
Michael L. Plumb

He should start blogging...er.. wait, he'd have to register it with the Kremlin now! Aahahahahahahaha..my god what a hypocrite.

Nicholas M. Cummings
Nicholas M. Cummings

I don't care that he broke laws, I care that he's a hypocrite for choosing to help Russia because he was too cowardly to take his punishment like he claimed he was willing to. For this reason he's a traitor. He sold out to the Russians who are far more oppressive than America

Gary Powell
Gary Powell

Well I am sure that bastian of personal freedom that is Putin's Russia will extend it for all e has done for them.

Neil Jackson
Neil Jackson

At the end of the day, he's broken US laws and he's essentially a traitor so we can all guess where he will end up. Jail. Hard luck Ed but you knew what you were doing.

Peter James Herz
Peter James Herz

Given that Russia no longer respects US as much I suspect they will care less about him moving ahead.

Michael Russell
Michael Russell

If he isn't in Russia, he will accident my die. Or be kidnapped and brought back to the USA to stand 'trial' .. He knew what was going to happen.

Peter LoPresti
Peter LoPresti

I hope he goes to another superpower. I know a few countries in Latin America offered asylum but they don't have the shooting power to actually deter the USA from doing anything

Bobby Roper
Bobby Roper

Let him back in the United states, can't get much worse than it is know, at least we will know his every move. The future will be encrypted phones, encrypted emails and non tracking search engines. The NSA will never stop, the power is to much to give up. Use http://LookSeek.com the non tracking search engine for your privacy.

Filipa Padre
Filipa Padre

Poor Ed, I thought he was quietly going through this...