Russia has given fugitive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a three year residency permit after his previous visa expired at the end of July.
Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told journalists that Snowden's request for a residence permit had been granted.
“He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad,” said Kucherena, according to Russia Today. “He’ll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months.”
The lawyer also dismissed an attempt by the US to have Snowden extradited back to America on spying charges, saying, "There has been no request which complies with international law."
Snowden did a bunk in June 2013 with thousands of confidential National Security Agency files, which revealed the extent to which the US agency was spying on ordinary internet users, weakening backdoors in cryptography standards and working with other “Five Eyes” spy agencies such as the UK's GCHQ to bypass legal restrictions on domestic snooping.
After a thrilling international manhunt, during which noted London entrepreneur Steve Bong threw Snowden into the Smeg and the world's media were duped into boarding a lengthy non-stop flight to Cuba, the fugitive whistleblower was eventually run to ground in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport. Russia later offered him asylum.
Another whistleblower is reported to be following in Snowden's footsteps after fresh documents relating to the US' controversial Terrorist Screening Database were published by former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald earlier this week. ®