RUSSIA HAS EXTENDED NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's asylum for three years, allowing him to remain in the country and out of the US authorities' hands.
His initial temporary asylum was granted in August 2013 and ended on 31 July. His temporary asylum came at a time when US authorities had charged him with espionage following his PRISM revelations.
RT reports that Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said at a press conference, "On the first of August he [Snowden] received a three-year residence permit. He will be able to travel freely within the country and go abroad. He'll be able to stay abroad for not longer than three months."
Edward Snowden's PRISM revelations sent shockwaves through the technology industry and the international community. He has previously said that he accepted the risks that he has taken and the likely result of his actions.
According to RT's report Snowden did not ask for his asylum to be extended. He has in the past asked people to forget his role and concentrate on the issues that he exposed. During a TED talk, he said, "Who I am doesn't matter at all. Hate me and move on. What matters here are the issues. That's what I hope the debate moves towards."
He added that he is "comfortable" with the decisions that he has made, and later, in testimony to the European Parliament, he said that he had risked his own liberty for the liberty of others.
"I worked for the United States' Central Intelligence Agency. The National Security Agency. The Defense Intelligence Agency," he said. "I love my country, and I believe that spying serves a vital purpose and must continue. And I have risked my life, my family and my freedom to tell you the truth." µ