Aug. 1,2013 -- National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year.
Here's a guide to some of the things he can look forward to:
Quit being an activist, bro.
You're the kind of guy who likes to spill secrets about governments. That's great, except that since Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency in May 2012 authorities have introduced a series of restrictive laws that have led to the arrest of several political activists.
Don't get on the 'journalists that have disappeared' list.
The Russians take a lack of freedom of speech very seriously. We know this because an investigation published in 2009 by the International Federation of Journalists documents over three hundred deaths and disappearances of journalists since 1993. There's a database online with a good user interface to check out the 342 disappearances list. So just don't do anything that suggests you care about the truth while you're there, ok.
Don't do anything gay.
This means don't wear a shirt that someone might think "looks gay." It means be careful about who you stare at and how you stare at them. And certainly don't do anything that even appears "pro-gay" like going to a gay bar for say, oh, people watching. The Russians powers that be don't really appreciate anything gay, in public at least.
Don't say anything bad about judges, jurors, prosecutors or law enforcement officials.
We know. You're kind of use to doing this. But if you say anything bad about any Russian officials while you're there then you're going to have to pay a huge fine! (2 million rubles or roughly $61,000)
Don't hold any protests.
Yes, you're super good at protesting. In Russia, however, if you don't like something you might want to keep your mouth shut. If you opt to give it a go anyway, you'll get a ticket that fines you between 5,000-30,000 rubles. (That's $165-$30,000) Also, some other stuff might happen to you. That may or may not include a disappearance with no plans for a reappearance.
Don't go trying to adopt Russian babies.
You could make a great single dad, but Russian law bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.
*I sincerely hope you're able to read this travel guide. In July 2012 Putin signed a law that allows government agencies to submit websites to the banned website registry without a court order.