The founder and CEO of Russia’s largest social network has offered whistleblower Edward Snowden a job.
Snowden “will be happy if he decides to fill up a stellar team of programmers at VK,” Durov wrote (translated from Russian via Google translate).
A former contractor for the National Security Agency, Snowden has accepted an offer of temporary asylum in Russia. He’s on the run from the U.S., which charged him with espionage for revealing a host of the National Security Agency‘s spy programs. It’s hard to ignore the profound effect he’s had on the U.S. Since his leaks first broke in June, the Director of National Security has declassified some of its programs that spy on U.S. citizens, Congress is increasingly warming to the idea of blocking those programs, and polls show Americans are rapidly becoming more concerned about privacy as a civil liberty.
Russia is one of only a handful of countries that doesn’t use Facebook more than any other social networking service, and VK is by far the most popular way the country stays in touch online. While it’s unclear exactly sincere Durov’s offer is, it’s entirely possible he’s honor the offer, as Durov has a decided activist streak.
Durov added in his note that “you feel proud of our country and regret the U.S. policy—a country once committed to the principles on which it was built.”
Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, has said that his client is eager to start a new, relatively normal life in Russia. He’s “can live in a hotel or rent a flat in Russia,” Kucherena said, according to RT.
Kucherena added that Snowden misses his girlfriend, and is eager for his father to come visit him in Russia.
Illustration by Jason Reed