NSA leaker Edward Snowden has a new job.  He’s reportedly been hired to help maintain one of Russia’s largest websites, according to his lawyer.

From ABC News:

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the U.S. government for leaking thousands of secret files, is sitting down to his keyboard once again at a new job — this time to do website maintenance in Russia, his lawyer said today.

The attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti that his fugitive client will start his new gig Friday at one of Russia’s largest websites, but reportedly declined to identify the site for “security reasons.” Kucherena did not immediately return requests for comment from ABC News, but another source confirmed that Snowden had found a new job.

There has of course been rampant speculation that the unidentified employer may be VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, after one of the company’s founders publicly issued an invite to Snowden in August to “join the star team of programmers at VKontakte.”  But the speculation is exactly that – speculation.

A spokesman for VKontakte said he could not comment on whether Snowden had been hired, but wouldn’t rule it out, according to RIA Novosti.

Technology news website Digit.ru speculated that Snowden may have joined social networking site VKontakte.ru, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook.

The website, an affiliate of RIA Novosti, said other major Russian online companies, including Yandex and  Mail.ru, had categorically denied they had hired Snowden.

VKontakte spokesman Georgy Lobushkin said he could not comment on the issue, but would not rule out his company had recruited Snowden.

Lobushkin said at a corporate event in August that he could see Snowden assisting VKontakte in maintaining the security of its online chat program.

The news of Snowden’s new employment in Russia comes on the heels of the latest big claim about US surveillance: that the NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, which is based on information obtained from Snowden’s cache of the agency’s documents.  That report prompted pushback from the NSA chief and concern from Google and Yahoo.

Snowden faces charges of espionage and theft of government property in the US.


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