Edward Snowden has been meeting with a Russian Lawyer about returning to the United States. Snowden fled to Russia after leaking details of the US government’s incredible surveillance programs, which shocked many people. Although he has been in exile for years, he had made it clear that he wants to come home.
Apparently, the Russian attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, is working with lawyers in Germany and the US to see if his return is possible. Kucherena has strong links to the Kremlin and spoke briefly about the case while at a news conference promoting a book he wrote about Snowden.
Snowden was granted asylum in 2013 in Moscow, adding to strains already existing between Russia and the US. As stated by Kucherena, Snowden is interested in going back to the US and everything is being done to make that happen. To come up with an acceptable deal, there is an entire group of attorneys involved.
Because the US wants to put Snowden on trial for leaking secrets of electronic surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency (NSA), Russia refused to extradite him. In the past, Snowden admitted to wanting to go home but only if he could be assured of a fair trial.
Many people who support civil rights have praised Snowden for telling the public about US surveillance while others consider him a spy and traitor. Snowden was given a three-year residency permit to live in Russia for three years, which will expire in 2017.
Many Americans had no clue that surveillance being conducted by NSA was so extensive. While people knew that phones were tapped and individuals followed, the information released by Snowden proved much more.
Although people agree that surveillance is an important tool in fighting crime, especially terrorism, the volume of programs and level of surveillance was found to be far greater than ever imagined. For some, this provided a sense of security while others feel the degree of surveillance is intrusive.