US security leaker Edward Snowden is set to start a new job at a major Russian website, three months after the fugitive was given asylum in Russia, his lawyer said.
“Edward Snowden will start working at a big Russian company on Friday, November 1. His job will be to support and develop a major Russian website,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax news agency on Thursday.
Kucherena declined to give the name of the company, citing security concerns, though there has been increasing speculation that it could be Vkontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook. Its founder Pavel Durov publicly offered Snowden a post in August.
Two other major Russian Internet companies, Mail.Ru Group and Yandex said they had not hired Snowden, RIA Novosti reported.
Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia in August after exposing massive surveillance by the US National Security Agency. Since then he has been living in hiding.
His lawyer has said in interviews that the fugitive is running short of money.
So far a supporters’ website has raised almost $49,000 in donations.
The website, which specialises in sensational scoops, said a photograph was taken in September and that it paid the $3,122 for the image sent via its smart phone app.
Life News, which has close contacts with law enforcement officials, said the photograph “proves that the former US agent either lives permanently in Moscow or visits regularly.”
A video was released this month showing Snowden meeting four US whistleblowers, who presented him with an award in an unidentified location that appeared to be in Russia.
Snowden spent more than a month in a Moscow airport before receiving a year’s temporary asylum and heading to a secret address.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday questioned the sincerity of international outrage at Snowden’s revelations on surveillance by the US National Security Agency.