Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship. That happened on Monday after president Vladimir Putin signed a special decree.
39-year-old Snowden, a former CIA employee and System Administrator for the NSA, has been charged with espionage in the United States. He provided journalists with confidential documents in 2013.
His revelations revealed that the NSA collected internet and telephone data from citizens on a large scale. The Secret Service has thus violated the US intelligence Act and possibly also the US Constitution, the US court ruled two years ago.
Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013, where he married blogger Lindsay Mills in Moscow. Earlier, he said he only wants to return to his homeland if he can be guaranteed a fair trial.
Prior to Snowden’s revelation, top U.S. intelligence officials always denied that data was knowingly collected from U.S. citizens. Later, those same officials stated that the collection of the data is crucial to the fight against domestic terrorism.