Russia may consider granting Snowden political asylum
MOSCOW, June 11 (RAPSI) - Russia may consider former CIA agent Edward Snowden's request for political asylum if he will make an official request, Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday, citing presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Snowden, 29, an employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton on Sunday admitted to leaking secret information to the media, explaining that he sought justice and abhorred the invasion of privacy.
“If we receive such a request, we will consider it,” Kommersant quoted presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.
The Guardian wrote last week that it had a copy of a secret court order which required US telecom company Verizon to provide data from millions of customers to the US authorities for three months. The Washington Post reported about an Internet scouring program code-named PRISM, which allowed the NSA and the FBI to tap into nine US Internet companies.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper criticized the PRISM media coverage, saying that these leaks threaten national security.
Meanwhile, Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, has called for the extradition of the "man at the heart" of the National Security Agency information scandal, telling The Guardian that "no country should be granting this individual asylum."