Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden got a new job with a Russian website. The world wonders what his new employer had in mind in hiring the person accused of leaking piles of classified information.
Snowden, 30, who fled the U.S. in May and was granted asylum in Russia this summer, will report to work Friday, according to RIA Novosti Russian news agency. Though the identity of the site is not known, the reported gig is a technical support job for one of the largest Russian websites, his lawyer says.
But, hey, maybe the news of his job is just a surprise to folks in the U.S., where people are confused about whether to call Snowden a "traitor" or "hero" after leaking massive amounts of information about the government's telephone and internet surveillance programs. Over the summer, Pavel Durov, founder of VKontakte, a popular social media site in Russia, publicly offered Snowden a job, though it's not clear if this is his new employer.
Here are five things his new employer probably knows or should be told:
|Questionable Job References|
His last known employer, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, fired Snowden in June for "violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy." That's when the former NSA contractor began what many are calling the biggest leak of classified info in American history.
|May Inflate Salary History|
After Snowden's identity was revealed this past spring, many Americans were shocked that a government contractor was not only able to access highly-sensitive government information but that a high school graduate was able to make a six-figure salary. While getting heat for hiring an accused security leaker, Booz Allen Hamilton also disputed Snowden's claim that he made $200,000 a year, saying it was actually $122,000.
|Unable to Travel for Work, But Media Friendly|
Snowden's new gig probably won't afford him many opportunities to rack up airline miles outside Russia, which granted him asylum against the demands of the U.S. government. And that's too bad because Snowden has some pretty substantial global government and media experience: subcontracting for the NSA in Hawaii, getting chummy with British press, fleeing to Hong Kong and Russia. Oh well, Starwood Hotels is opening five new hotels over there by 2015, so there will be plenty of opportunities for collecting Starpoints.
|Transferrable Job Skills|
Though Snowden may be a liability for the U.S. government and Booz Allen Hamilton, he sure has some skills and experiences that could be put to use for his new firm, if not just publicity. Heck, we are writing about this company even though we're not certain it even exists.
You may know the story of Frank Abagnale, the con artist who escaped police custody twice, and was charged with bank fraud and impersonating others. Abagnale later began working for the federal government and then became a consultant and lecturer for the FBI.
Abagnale eventually wrote a book which was turned into the 2002 film "Catch Me If you Can" (you know, with that guy who died in "Titanic") and eponymous Broadway musical. Maybe one day we'll all be watching Snowden's story on Broadway and have a good laugh about this whole thing.
|Memo to Human Resources Director: You're Fired|
Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of Identity Theft 911, says he would tell Snowden's employer, "You might want to consider getting a new Human Resources director."