By LEE FERRAN
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the U.S. government for leaking thousands of secret files, is sitting down to his keyboard once again at a new job — this time to do website maintenance in Russia, his lawyer said today.
The attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti that his fugitive client will start his new gig Friday at one of Russia’s largest websites, but reportedly declined to identify the site for “security reasons.”
Earlier today another source confirmed to ABC News that Snowden had signed up for a new job, butJesselyn Radack, an attorney at the Government Accountability Project who previously has been in contact with Snowden, said she was “not aware” of any new job.
Kucherena did not immediately return requests for comment. Radack said that when she spoke to the former NSA contractor days ago, he was concentrating on learning Russian and acclimating himself to his new life.
Snowden has been living in Russia since this summer when the Russian government granted him temporary asylum there after a globe-trotting secret odyssey. He is wanted in the U.S. on espionage-related charges for allegedly stealing thousands upon thousands of secret documents from the NSA when he worked there as a contractor and handing them over to several journalists, who have since published expose after expose about the NSA’s vast foreign and domestic surveillance programs.
RIA Novosti reported that a spokesperson for VKontakte, a social network in Russia akin to Facebook, declined to comment in response to speculation that it could be Snowden’s new employer, but the spokesperson did not rule out that possibility.
Prior to his job at the NSA, Snowden said he worked in a technical position at the CIA. It was during that time, from 2007 to 2009, when he first said he became disenchanted with the way U.S. intelligence carries out its secret work.