Snowden Offered Asylum, Social Media Job in Russia

Dennis Faas's picture

Edward Snowden, the former technical contractor for the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) who leaked critical details about NSA surveillance, has been granted asylum by the Russian government. He's also been offered a job.

Snowden leaked information about NSA surveillance earlier this year. That prompted a media firestorm focusing on the ultra-secretive NSA and resulted in U.S. federal prosecutors charging Snowden with espionage and theft of government property.

Snowden then fled the United States and until recently he was living in a Moscow airport. However, the U.S. whistleblower has now been granted temporary asylum by the Russian government.

Whistleblower Offered Job By Russian Social Networking Site

Now, it appears Snowden has been offered a job by social networking site VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. According to The New York Times, the site is hoping Snowden will take a programmer position.

"We invite Edward to St. Petersburg and will be thrilled if he decides to join our stellar team of programmers at VKontakte," announced site owner, Pavel Durov.

"At the end of the day, there is no European Internet company more popular than VK. I think Edward might be interested in protecting the personal data of our millions of users." (Source:

With more than 200 million registered users, VKontakte is Russia's top-ranking social networking site. Those behind it insist that an estimated 47 million people check their accounts on a daily basis.

Snowden Popular in Latin America -- But Not Canada

The move reveals that, while the White House and many Americans steam over the Russian government's decision to grant Snowden asylum, the whistleblower is seen as a folk hero in many parts of the world.

Snowden has also been offered asylum by several Latin American countries -- most of which have rocky diplomatic relations with the United States.

However, the U.S. also has its supporters. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recently condemned Russia's move, insisting that granting Snowden asylum "is not something that Canada would have considered." (Source:

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