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Former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be allowed to stay in Russia three more years and allowed to travel, according to his lawyer.

A number of news outlets, including The Guardian and the Washington Post, carried comments from Anatoly Kucherena that Snowden has received a three-year residence permit after his temporary asylum status ran out Aug. 1.

He has not been granted political asylum, which would have allowed him to stay in Russia permanently. However, observers were quick to note that the residency permit comes at a time when the Obama administration is leading a campaign to give Russia a black eye over its interference in Ukraine and the seizure of Crimea.

Kucherena told reports that Snowden has an unspecified IT-related job, and had hired private security guards. That, perhaps, is to help in case U.S. agents want to invite him home to face charges of espionage and theft of government property.

Snowden is one of the most recognized ex-pat/fugitive Americans for his revelations about the extent to which the National Security Agency is able to electronically spy on people in the U.S.

It was just over a year ago that the Guardian began publishing stories from documents Snowden let it see from the NSA. Since then through news services Snowden has revealed the secret electronic sweeping of data done by a number of governments including Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSEC).

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