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Report: Snowden applies for extended asylum in Russia

Report: Snowden applies for extended asylum in Russia

The Russian approval for the NSA leaker to stay in the country expires at the end of July

U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for extended asylum in Russia, according to news reports.

Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has leaked details of the agency's worldwide surveillance activities, will seek an extension after Russia's approval for him to stay expires on July 31, according to a Wednesday report in Russia news site RT.com.

Snowden, living in Russia for the past year, has submitted documents to "prolong his stay," said his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, quoted in the story.

Kucherena did not tell RT.com if Snowden was seeking a new residency status, such as Russian citizenship. A decision on Snowden's status is up to the Russia government, the lawyer said.

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

Meanwhile, Snowden's leaks continue to generate news. On Wednesday, The Intercept reported that the NSA and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslims in the U.S. including civil rights activists, professors and lawyers.

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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