NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted an open-ended permanent residency permit by the Russian Federation.
The former CIA and National Security Agency contractor has been living in exile in Russia since 2013 when he blew the lid off the unprecedented mass surveillance operations conducted by US Intelligence. The US has demanded his extradition to face charges for violating the Espionage Act ever since.
"Snowden was granted an open-ended residence permit earlier today,” his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena said Thursday.
The 37 year-old faces the prospect of up to 30 years in prison if convicted but his extradition is unlikely any time soon, especially given his newly-minted residency status.
Lately, the whistleblower has been engaged in a battle over royalties from his memoir ‘Permanent Record,’ published last September. Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that the US government may seize the $5.2 million in book royalties Snowden garnered from sales of the book.