Snowden currently faces criminal charges in the U.S. for revealing to citizens that their gov't spies on them

Would you give a job to a technical expert widely heralded as brilliant, but with no formal credentials, and a history of stealing data from his employers, which the candidate says was necessary to whistleblow on wrongdoing?

For many companies the answer would be a flat out "no", but at least one Russian firm is adopting more of a cautiously open-minded approach.  In an interview with Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency, a lawyer for Edward Snowden revealed his client had obtained a position working tech support for a "major Russian website".

Edward Snowden received asylum from Russia, who has protected the leaker from extradition to the U.S., where he faces criminal charges for his unauthorized acquisition of sensitive documents during his time working as U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) administrator and U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.

Russian website
A major Russian website reportedly hired Edward Snowden -- although no one knows which one.

Mr. Snowden revealed details of the U.S. government's spying on U.S. citizens that led to the Obama administration and the U.S. intelligence agencies being caught in apparent lies several times.  Even as the intelligence community backtracked and slowly acknowledged Mr. Snowden's claims, they steadfastly have argued that Mr. Snowden is a criminal and the U.S. government needs to keep spying secret from citizens.

A former intelligence official was quoted by NBC News, stating:

Every day, they are learning how brilliant [Snowden] was.  This is why you don’t hire brilliant people for jobs like this. You hire smart people. Brilliant people get you in trouble.  The damage, on a scale of 1 to 10, is a 12.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden was "too smart" to hire, says one former intelligence official.  When he caught wind of massive gov't spying and corruption he blew the whistle in a responsible way when a "dumber" employee might have stayed quiet, ignorant, and obedient . [Image Source: AP]

It is explicitly unlawful for the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens, however, the NSA claims that most of its seizure of Americans' data is not unlawful because it assumes they are foreigners.  Some members of Congress have defended this viewpoint, saying it's necessary to spy on citizens to fight "terrorists" and that the NSA is simply protecting the public by finding ways to circumvent U.S. laws that restrict it from unchecked domestic spying.  

The NSA recently admitted in audits that its employees did more flagrantly break the law thousands of times a year -- in addition to the millions of times its says its seized citizens' data legally by calling U.S. citizens foreigners.  But NSA officials like exiting NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander insist that it's worth it for Americans to sacrifice some of their privacy freedoms for safety.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) disagrees, and has filed suit against the government, over what it says is a chronic history of illegal attacks on U.S. citizens' Constitutional rights.

NSA Unchained
The ACLU calls Edward Snowden a hero for fighting to protect the Constitution -- the key task all government workers are supposed to swear an oath to uphold.  [Image Source: ACLU]
A petition to pardon Edward Snowden has received 138,000 signatures on the White House's petition site  Any petition with 100,000 signatures (a target that follows to bumps in threshold) is supposed to get a response from President Obama.  However, since the petition hit that threshold in June, it has been met with silence from President Obama.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayde told U.S. News in an email this month, ""Response times vary.  We're not in a position to comment on the substance of a response before it has been issued.""

A similar past petition was greeted with the boiler plate response:

The President takes his constitutional power to grant clemency very seriously, and recommendations from the Department of Justice are carefully considered before decisions are made.  The White House does not comment, however, on individual pardon applications. In accordance with this policy and the We the People Terms of Participation–which explain that the White House may sometimes choose not to respond to petitions addressing certain matters—the White House declines to comment on the specific case addressed in this petition.

The Russian government and Mr. Snowden's lawyers have kept his location a secret since he was granted asylum in August, to protect him from potential assasination efforts.  However, it is thought he is somewhere in the greater Moscow area.

Source: RIA Novosti

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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