Edward Snowden’s one year temporary asylum request has been extended another three years by the Russian government according to Snowden’s lawyer.
Snowden, who became reknowned after leaking classfied documents detailing the U.S. government’s surveillance programs, faces theft of government property charges and two counts of violation of the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act.
Snowden’s revelations last year revealed the government’s maintenence of constant illegal spying on U.S. citizens via access to Verizon phone records, Yahoo and Google accounts, and even internet games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. His reveleations have been referred to as the most significant leak in U.S. history and have sparked public outrage and debate on citizen’s right to privacy.
Snowden has maintained that it is impossible for him to return to the U.S. and receive a fair trial due to the nature of the Espionage act. His lawyer has publicly criticized the charges against her client stating ” This arcane World War I law [U.S. 1917 Espionage Act] was never meant to prosecute whistleblowers, but rather spies who sold secrets to enemies for profit. Under this law, no prosecution of a non-spy can be fair or just.”
Snowden, a former employee of NSA and the CIA, now works for a Russian website and publicly denounces the U.S. government’s spying programs.
The government maintains that Snowden’s extended asylum doesn’t affect his charges within the United States. Spokesman for The National Security Council Ned Price stated ” There’s been no change in our position: Mr. Snowden faces felony charges here in the United States. He should return to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections”
CNN reports the Obama Administration has charged more people via the Espionage Act than any other administration in American history.
–Alexandria Tribble @Y_iOuwta