back to article Ed Snowden doesn’t need to worry about being turfed out of Russia any more

Russia has apparently given super-leaker and former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden de facto permanent residence. State-owned newswire TASS on Thursday reported that Snowden’s lawyer, a chap named Anatoly Kucherena, dropped in to tell it that Snowden has been granted an “open-ended residence permit”. Snowden was granted a three- …

  1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    If he needs a place to stay...

    If he needs a place to stay during those cold Russian winters, I'm sure the U.S. Government will be happy to give him room and board, and three square meals a day for the next 30 years.

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: If he needs a place to stay...

      Only 30 years? I was under the impression that Uncle Sam was thinking along the lines of 300.

      1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

        Re: If he needs a place to stay...

        I was trolling the post. Besides, I'm not sure what Uncle Sam wants for him. But I can tell you that it's not pleasant for Snowden. Besides, even with the trolling icon...hard room.

  2. Efer Brick

    Life in Russia

    What's he done to deserve that?

    1. BebopWeBop

      Re: Life in Russia

      With obvious caveats on other aspects, Russia has some stunning landscape and winter sports including climbing and skiing are great - if that is your thing. As someone who lives in Scotland and will be transplanting myself up from my Borders base to the far North in the next two weeks just for that, I can appreciate some of the benefits. Remote working can be wonderful.

      1. K

        Re: Life in Russia

        You've just made me have a "bathroom thought", what the hell did the Gypsy traveller community do in the initial lockdown?

        Technically speaking, their homes are on wheels and mobile, so as long as they stayed home, could they still travel round.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Life in Russia

          I think they were probably exempt....just because they don't care about the rules?

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Life in Russia

      Here is a crazy hold onto may just blow you mind after a century of propaganda...ready....

      Most Russians are just like us.

      I know, crazy. Totally wacko fringe idea, but it may just catch on.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Life in Russia

        They are so like us, they also have power crazed 'leaders' who rob the countries blind!


          Re: Life in Russia

          Trump has been robbing us over here for years.

          1. Mahhn

            Re: Life in Russia

            I want to agree with you because I detest politicians, but he has donated his salary and made less money than he would have. So the only way you can get robbed by turnip head is to gamble at his casino, if that counts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Life in Russia

        > Most Russians are just like us.

        Nyet, are not. Have better vodka stamina.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Life in Russia

          That's just practice.

  3. NerryTutkins

    He's settling in and looking forward to having Donald Trump and Rudy "Adjusting my shirt" Guiliani as neighbours when they have to run from the feds in a couple of months.

  4. Kinga77

    I just finished his book. Snowden is a hero and sacrificed so much on principle. It is hard to disagree that governments should not hold

    ALL data on all citizens in case they become of interest. History will treat him well.

    1. DRue2514

      I would guess that Russia is no better in this respect.

      1. Jurassic Hermit

        Probably not, but Russia doesn't pretend to be a great democracy and leader of the "free" world does it?

        1. genghis_uk

          I always thought that about USSR and USA in the Cold War era.

          Both spied on their population and essentially had thought police - but the KGB were more open about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            " the Cold War era."

            Are you implying that the situation has changed since then?

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      I have always seen Ed Snowden as Tech Saint Snowden - his "crime" was telling everyone that the US was breaking its own laws, whereupon the US tried to tie him to a post and shot arrows at him.

      Just think what the world would look like if Snowden had just hidden everything, or if Peter had been paid by Pontius Pilate to act like the US today.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius

        Well piloted


        Pontius Pilate was a very sensible man. When a group of native activists wanted him to execute one of their number he said, "Sod off!". But it was not reported like that.

      2. cb7

        "Just think what the world would look like if Snowden had just hidden everything"

        But what has really changed? How do we know whether govt agencies are still snooping or not?

        1. Mahhn

          They are, they will never stop.

          But now since it's a fact no longer a conspiracy theory, "conspiracy theorist" have been turned into normal people.

  5. Chris G

    The vast majority of Russian homes are on municipal heating systems, my mother in law's humble apartment in winter with outside temperatures of -20° or worse is usually too warm for me at around 28°C.

    1. TheFifth

      Agreed. My in-laws houses are too hot in winter when it's -20°C outside. The good thing though is that they are also air conditioned during summer when it's +35°C.

      The Russian know how to deal with the extremes of temperature well and they dress appropriately. Unlike us Brits who wear shorts and t-shirts all winter!

      1. Snowy Silver badge

        Nothing wrong with shorts and t-shirts all winter! With cold water swimming been shown to delay the onset of dementia maybe shorts and t-shirts all winter will too :)

        Icon: I'll wear a coat when it rains but I'm still going to wear the shorts :)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "Nothing wrong with shorts and t-shirts all winter! "

          That's my goal with the solar heating installation upgrades this winter. On sunny days I hope to delete the shorts and t-shirts all together. The other part of the goal is to once again reduce the use of gas/electric to heat the house. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the thermal batteries perfected this season. I need a welder to make the containment vessels and I don't know anybody where I can go and use theirs. Paying somebody isn't in the budget.

    2. Danny 2

      My Finnish girl stayed in my unheated 'eco' house on snowy Skye one January, and refused to get out of bed. I said I thought she'd be used to the cold as she was Finnish. She replied angrily, "In Finland it is only cold outdoors."

      She also got annoyed when Scots described very cold weather as 'Baltic'. "The Baltic is actually warm in summer."

      A German visitor saw a queue of skimpily dressed girls outside an Edinburgh nightclub in the snow. She said, "We have girls like that in Dresden too - they're Russians."

  6. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Achy Breaky Hearts

    This will break the hearts of many Democrats and the Yank Mass Media. They were longing for the day when he, like Julian Assange, and Donald Trump, and Dread Vlad himself, and everyone else who thwarted their plans, are all transported to the bowels of the American Gulag with gyves on their wrists in orange jumpsuits forever, and the keys swallowed by a person nominated by the DNC. Since the entire world is subject to America's Law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Achy Breaky Hearts

      Why the free pass to the Republicans?

      You realise Assange and Snowdon haven't been pardoned?

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Achy Breaky Hearts

      I thought China made all the laws for everybody?

      1. Mahhn

        Re: Achy Breaky Hearts

        I though they were only the new regulating body for TV and movies. Must be expanding their role.

  7. deadlockvictim

    Snowden for President

    If as it seems from the posts of commentards that both Republicans & Democrats hate him, then we have our perfect compromise candidate.

    Snowden for President!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowden for President

      And George Jung for vice president.

  8. Imhotep

    Shelter In Place

    "Snowden has no interest in acquiring a Russian passport at this time."

    Yes, I imagine he feels his travel options are limited.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Shelter In Place

      >Yes, I imagine he feels his travel options are limited.

      A US passport is probably less use for international travel than a Russian one at the moment.

      All Snowden did was tell everyone what most of us on this site suspected anyway. The US had been indulging in wholesale compromise of both national and international communications, often in violation of US law. They tried to get away with it by just not telling us but the signs were there for all to read.

      Snowden also did the US a favor. Our intelligence agencies were so sure of themselves that they didn't seem to conceive that anyone would know what they're doing. Anyone who was following Kaspersky could read between the lines -- the Russians (yes I know that K.'s an international company....) certainly had a very good idea what was we were up to, they just weren't making any noise about it because it gives them a major edge. Snowden pricked that bubble for us -- sure, it hurt, but its nothing like as bad as finding out years later that your super-secret program wasn't anything like as secret as you thought it was.

  9. martinusher Silver badge


    Just to keep you all informed -- as a US citizen he still has to file Federal taxes every year regardless of where he lives or where he earns his money. He should be able to deduct any Russian taxes paid though.

    (UK readers thinking of working in the US....... Owing to a quirk in US law once you become a permanent resident of the US you will owe taxes on your global income for life, or at least until you formally revoke your residency and/or citizenship. Because of the way that the US regulates international banking just moving back home and ignoring the Feds won't work.)

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Taxes...

      If all else fails, they'll try to get Ed on tax evasion just like they had to do with a mob boss.

      BTW, you don't have to be a permanent resident for the requirements to pertain. You only need to be a "US Person" which is rather nebulous.

  10. Man inna barrel

    Is a government allowed to keep secrets?

    A fundamental question here is whether a government in a liberal democracy is permitted to keep certain things secret. My view is that not all operations of government agencies can be completely open. For example, we cannot expect our Army to disclose all of its plans and capabilities to potential enemies. But there is a potential for this necessary secrecy to be abused, which I suppose Snowden was exposing. From what I know about this case, Snowden was not just revealing abuses of power, which would have some moral justification. I understand he revealed a great deal more than that, which could have been damaging to legitimate covert operations, possibly endangering lives.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Is a government allowed to keep secrets?

      From what I know about this case, Snowden was not just revealing abuses of power, which would have some moral justification. I understand he revealed a great deal more than that, which could have been damaging to legitimate covert operations, possibly endangering lives.

      I think that was more an issue with some of the stuff Assange leaked, and Snowden's dump was more about capabilities. I think there would have been more justification for whistleblowing, if they were more selective. So here's the law, here's how it's being broken. And that perhaps revealed problems with oversight, or legislation than the actions of the intelligence services.

      But that's the moral dilemma. Intelligence agencies gather intelligence. That should not have been a suprise, it's their job. The agencies are tasked with preventing crimes, or threats, so how best they should do that? And I think it also showed wider problems. The NSA spied on American people, and intercepted their communications.. But then so do Google, Facebook etc. One to try and ensure national security, the others to profile you & push ads. So a strange situation where intelligence agencies are allowed to do less than largely unsupervised, unregulated data hoovers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is a government allowed to keep secrets?

      The criticism of Snowden isn't about what he revealed, but that he took a solemn oath to keep quiet, and broke it. He may have felt justified and perhaps he was (or is) willing to risk the penalties, but at the end of the day he broke his oath and can't complain when he's called to account for it. Let him away with it and you make everyone else's oaths worthless.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Is a government allowed to keep secrets?

        Ummmm - so no matter what wrongs you have seen, you have to keep quiet about it because "oath"?? There is no room in your philosophy for public interest disclosure? I genuinely fail to grasp your world-view.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is a government allowed to keep secrets?

          That is more definitely NOT what I said.

          I said that if he thinks a situation makes it worthwhile breaking a solemn oath then he has to be prepared to take the consequences. If he isn't, he shouldn't have sworn the oath in the first place.

          Public interest is a tricky justification, if the public were truly interested wouldn't there have been mass demonstrations insisting that he be pardoned, demands for resignations, etc?

          1. I am the liquor

            Re: he shouldn't have sworn the oath in the first place

            So you're saying that people with any ethical standards shouldn't take jobs where they might be asked to keep secrets?

            You've also misunderstood the term "public interest". It's not what the public is interested in. It's what's in the best interests of the public.

  11. Silverburn

    Appealing options

    Go to America, spent rest of life getting passed around like currency in slam.


    Stay in Russia, and one day slip in your bathroom and down 5 storeys to the street below, once your usefulness has run its course.

    Those are not appealing options.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Appealing options

      According to Ed, Russia isn't asking him for anything. They are probably laughing just from his being there as a thorn in the side of the US spy complex. The US lost somebody with important information and Russia acquired a talented computer expert. It's not worth the effort for Russia to "dispose" of him and really no need.

      1. Erik4872

        Re: Appealing options

        "talented computer expert"

        I thought he was basically a contract SharePoint admin who happened to have access to the systems storing the classified data, and he got it by tricking people into giving out their passwords. So I doubt he's a "l33t hax0r" type. Still, Russia must be very happy just having him as a trophy to wave in front of the NSA once in a while!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You mean de jure residence

    He already had de facto residence.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snowden vs Assange

    Why is it that I think Snowden is a decent human being that did the right thing, whereas I think Assange is a complete arsehole that deserves everything he’s got coming to him?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowden vs Assange

      > Why is it that I think Snowden is a decent human being that did the right thing, whereas I think Assange is a complete arsehole that deserves everything he’s got coming to him?

      I think it's your ear tricking your brain: the first syllable in Snowden's name is 'snow' and your subconscious links it with whiteness and purity.

  14. Danny 2


    My mum bought the book for her Kindle, and she wouldn't have if the US profited. Can she get a full refund if she deletes it?

  15. Tempest
    Thumb Down

    What the USA Wants Snowden for is Pure Revenge

    Snowden revealed all the dirty NSA tricks, many of which were outside limits of US law. They were embarrassed because all their genitalia were exposed.

    Had the NSA not broken the law, Snowden would have nothing to leak.

    One of the dirtiest Echelon members ís GCHQ right there in Cheltenham.

    Wikipedia has a great opening line for the GCHQ page: "Not to be confused with Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre or Conservative Campaign Headquarters." Poetic.

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