MOSCOW: United States (US) intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will on Friday start working for a major Russian website, his lawyer said, sparking speculation his new employer could be Russia’s largest social network.
Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena declined to give the name of the company but attention centered on Vkontakte, which is seen as the Russian equivalent of Facebook.
“Edward Snowden will start working at a big Russian company on Friday, November 1. His job will be to support and develop a major Russian website,” Kucherena told the Interfax news agency.
The charismatic founder of VKontakte Pavel Durov, often described as the Russian Mark Zuckerberg after the equally youthful Facebook supremo, publicly offered Snowden a post in August.
“We invite Edward Snowden to Saint Petersburg and will be glad if he decides to join the star team of programmers,” Durov wrote on his social networking page on the same day as Snowden received asylum in the country.
Twenty-nine-year-old Durov, who co-founded the social networking service in 2006, suggested Snowden could work on “protecting the personal data of millions of our users.”
VKontakte, or In Touch, says it has over 100 million users.
VKontakte spokesman Georgy Lobushkin told RIA Novosti news agency he could not comment on speculation that Snowden would work there.