Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may have a new job.
According to an interview in VentureBeat with former KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin on Thursday, Snowden is now working with the Russian federal security service, the intelligence institution that replaced the KGB after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The 80-year-old, now retired Soviet intelligence officer said that Snowden is working with Russian intelligence as a “consultant or technical advisor.”
“Whatever he had access to in his former days at NSA, I believe he shared all of it with the Russians, and they are very grateful,” Kalugin said.
After Snowden released thousands of top-secret NSA documents he had gained access to during his time as a contractor there, Russia was the first country to grant him asylum in August. Perhaps Kalugin is correct and asylum came at a price.
Earlier this month, ex-NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander told the Australian Financial Review that he believes Snowden was being manipulated by Russian intelligence. "Understand as well that they’re only going to let him do those things that benefit Russia, or stand to help improve Snowden’s credibility," Alexander said. "They’re not going to do things that would hurt themselves. And they’re not going to allow him to do it. So I wouldn’t fall for the line that everything Snowden is doing is altruistic. The fact is, he’s in Russia, and they’re not going to allow him do something that is detrimental to their interests. They are looking to capitalize on the fact that his actions are enormously disruptive and damaging to U.S. interests."
The question is, why would a former Russian spy divulge such juicy intel? He does not support Vladimir Putin and he left Russian in the early 1990s and has since been living in the U.S. According to VentureBeat reporter Richard Byrne Reilly, "Kalugin still has juice within Russian intelligence circles and maintains contacts with friends in Russia from his days as a Soviet spy."
“These days, the Russians are very pleased with the gifts Edward Snowden has given them,” Kalugin told VentureBeat. “He’s busy doing something. He is not just idling his way through life.”