Report: Snowden allowed to stay in Russia for three more years

The former NSA contractor gets a three-year residency permit from the Russian government

The Russian government will allow Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who leaked details of the agency's worldwide surveillance programs, to stay in the country for three more years, according to Russia news reports.

Snowden, living in Russia for the past year, was granted temporary asylum that expired July 31, but the Russian government on Aug. 1 granted him a three-year residency permit, according to Russian news site RT.com.

Snowden is "homesick," and has not made up his mind on whether to apply for Russian citizenship, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told reporters. Snowden has not asked for political asylum, he said.

Snowden would be eligible to apply for Russian citizenship in five years, RT.com reported.

Snowden faces charges of espionage and theft of government property in the U.S.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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