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Snowden lands Russian data job

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By The Los Angeles Times
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
 

In what might be regarded as having the fox guard the henhouse, a leading Russian website has hired fugitive secrets-leaker Edward Snowden to oversee its data protection.

Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russian news service RIA Novosti that the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor will start his new job on Friday.

Kucherena declined to identify the social media site where Snowden will be working, citing “security reasons.” Snowden's Russian guardians have often expressed fears that U.S. intelligence operatives might snatch Snowden from his Russian refuge, if they can find him, and spirit him back to the United States to face espionage chargaes.

Snowden, 30, has stirred global outrage with his disclosures of widespread NSA surveillance of phone calls, emails, text messages and other personal communications. In the nearly six months since he left his high-tech job with the NSA, he has released details of secret U.S. counterterrorism operations that swept up millions of domestic and foreign communications for “data mining.”

In recent days alone, U.S. ambassadors have been summoned to hear protests from foreign governments, and President Obama has had to call offended allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to calm the diplomatic storms churned up by the intrusions.

Although Kucherena wouldn't identify Snowden's new employer, the RIA Novosti-related Digit.ru reported that “the only major net resource not to deny hiring” Snowden is VKontakte.ru, a Russian social media site akin to Facebook.

VKontakte founder Pavel Durov had publicly offered Snowden a job at the website in August, shortly after the fugitive's appeal for temporary asylum in Russia was granted.

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