MOSCOW, Russia - Russia has given a permanent residence permit to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency public interest informant.
Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since 2013 when he disclosed the American secret services' programs of massive surveillance.
Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, announced the decision of the Russian government to grant him an open-ended residence permit on Thursday. Russia had granted Snowden a residence permit in 2013, which expired in 2020.
The United States has requested his extradition for violating espionage laws. Thursday's decision ensures he will not be extradited.
Thanks to the information which Snowden revealed via a series of publications, the public learned about the workings of the mass surveillance system of the U.S. and its allies, the cooperation of the big technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. and telecommunications providers in this monitoring, but also the cover-up of this surveillance through the readily apparent and flagrant violation of individual freedoms and the American Constitution.
A few days ago, a U.S. federal judge ruled that the American government could seize the profits of the sales rights of Snowden's book "Permanent Record" which amount to $5.2 million.
Vindication for Snowden's revelations came, however, at the beginning of September when the U.S. Court of Appeal ruled that the secret collection of phone records of millions of Americans violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and may have been unconstitutional.