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October 31, 2013 3:43 pm
“On Friday November 1, Edward Snowden will begin working in one of the biggest Russian companies,” Anatoly Kucherena, Mr Snowden’s Russian lawyer, told Russian newswire Interfax. “His job will be to provide support and develop one of Russia’s biggest websites.”
Mr Kucherena did not say which internet company Mr Snowden would be working at or what his salary would be. The lawyer could not be immediately reached by the Financial Times.
Representatives for Yandex and Mail.ru, two of Russia’s biggest internet sites, said they had not hired Mr Snowden. A representative for Russia’s main social networking site Vkontakte declined to comment.
In August Pavel Durov, Vkontakte’s maverick founder, publicly invited Mr Snowden to join Vkontakte’s team. “We invite Edward to St Petersburg and would be happy if he decides to join our star team of programmers at Vkontakte,” Mr Durov wrote on his personal Vkontakte page. “It may be interesting for him to work on securing the personal information of our millions of users.”
Mr Snowden, who leaked documents detailing US mass surveillance programmes, arrived in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong on June 23 with a ticket to travel onward to Havana. He never boarded the second flight and ultimately received temporary asylum from Russia on August 1, allowing him to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after a stay of more than five weeks in the terminal’s transit zone.
He has been given temporary asylum for an initial period of one year but after that his asylum may be extended indefinitely.
Since leaving the airport, Mr Snowden has maintained a low public profile. He has twice been photographed by a Russian tabloid: once, shopping for groceries at a suburban hypermarket, and another time on a Moscow river cruise near a cathedral close to the Kremlin.
Mr Snowden’s father Lon in October travelled to visit his son and said he had adjusted to life in Moscow.
“He’s comfortable. He’s happy. And he’s absolutely committed to what he has done,” the elder Mr Snowden told reporters upon his return to New York.
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