Vladimir Putin grants Russian citizenship to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden, a former NSA intelligence officer turned whistleblower, officially obtained Russian citizenship from Vladimir Putin. Previously, Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after fleeing to the country to avoid federal prosecution in the United States following his decision to release a number of classified NSA documents to various news outlets.
After initially being granted asylum, Snowden was later granted permanent residency in Russian, and now, from September 2022, full citizenship. The news comes courtesy of outlets like CNBC, which note that Snowden is one of 70 foreign nationals “enrolled in an executive order and approved by Putin for Russian citizenship.”
As to why Snowden hid in Russia, over 7,000 classified documents have reportedly been leaked, with intelligence officials going so far as to claim that Snowden could have taken over 1.7 million classified files. The leaked documents and files that Snowden shared, as published by sources including The Washington Post and The Guardian, contained details regarding government surveillance programs run by the NSA that monitored not only criminals and potential terrorists, but also law-abiding citizens. good.
The United States aimed to prosecute Snowden for theft of government property following the leaks, as well as unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and willful disclosure of classified intelligence with a prison term of up to 30 years. . However, Snowden is expected to return to the United States to be prosecuted.
A number of people felt that Snowden should be pardoned given the privacy and security concerns highlighted by the leaks. Of course, the US government saw things differently starting in 2013. In 2015, President Obama’s homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, went so far as to say that Snowden should return to the United States and be “tried by a jury of his peers, not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime”. and to stop “running from the consequences of his actions”.
Several years later, it’s clear that Snowden will do no such thing, especially now that Vladimir Putin has granted him Russian citizenship, allowing him to declare himself in the country for as long as he wishes. That being said, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on the news. Do you think Snowden deserves a pardon and the chance to return to the United States, or is it better to stay in Russia now that he has citizenship? Let us know in Chatty!
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