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Edward Snowden to start work at Russian website

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Former NSA contractor who was granted temporary asylum in June finds job providing support for unnamed site, reports.

The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has found a job working for a website in Russia, where he was granted asylum after fleeing the US, a Russian lawyer who is helping him has said.

"Edward starts work in November," lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on Thursday, according to state-run news agency RIA. "He will provide support for a large Russian site," he said, adding that he would not name the site "for security reasons".

Snowden, 30, who disclosed secret US internet and telephone surveillance programmes, fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia in June.

President Vladimir Putin has rejected US pleas to send Snowden home to face charges including espionage.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Russia's leading social network Vkontakte, has extended an invitation to Snowden to work at the company, but earlier this week said the American had not replied to his offer. A spokesperson for Vkontakte yesterday refused to comment on whether Snowden has now taken up a job at the company, which is headquartered in St Petersburg.

Snowden's location in Russia has not been disclosed and since July he has appeared only in a handful of photographs and video clips from a meeting this month with visiting former US national security officials who support his cause.

Putin, a former KGB spy, has said repeatedly that Russia would only shelter Snowden if he stopped harming the United States. The temporary asylum Snowden was granted in early August can be extended annually.

Putin has also dismissed the widespread assumption that Russian intelligence officers grilled Snowden for information after he arrived, and Kucherena has portrayed him as trying to live as normal a life as possible under the circumstances.

He said earlier that he hoped Snowden would find a job because he was living on scant funds, mostly from donations.

A news site on Thursday published what it said was a photo of Snowden on a Moscow river cruise this summer; the same site earlier published a photo of a man who looked like Snowden pushing a shopping cart in a supermarket car park.

November 1 2013, 10:46

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