Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia after leaking classified information about the NSA’s surveillance practices.

Snowden, who worked as a National Security Agency systems administrator, has been on the run ever since he made NSA’s controversial surveillance practice, PRISM, public knowledge in early June. He first sought safety in Hong Kong, China before moving to Moscow where he was confined to the airport for several weeks while the Russian government deliberated granting his asylum.

Immediately after he revealed himself as the source of the leak, U.S. officials began demanding his return to the U.S. to face judgment.

“If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date…The United States must make it clear that no country should be granting this individual asylum. This is a matter of extraordinary consequence to American intelligence,” wrote Rep. Peter King, chairman of a House Homeland Security subcommittee, in a statement released at the time.

Snowden insists that his intentions were not to pose a risk to national security, but to provide the American people with more transparency.

“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” Snowden originally told the Guardian when he first leaked the information anonymously.

Snowden will be classified as a refugee in Russia for one year, and then will have to re-apply for asylum. His whereabouts are unknown.

“I put him in a taxi 15 to 20 minutes ago and gave him his certificate on getting refugee status in the Russian Federation…He can live wherever he wants in Russia. It’s his personal choice,” announced Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucheren.

It appears, however, that one organization knows of Snowden’s whereabouts: Wikileaks. Wikileaks tweeted their support to Snowden early on Thursday morning.

U.S. officials are dismayed with the outcome of Snowden’s appeal for asylum; however, CNN reports suggest that this will not drastically affect the U.S.’ political relationship with Russia. In fact, many U.S. officials were in contact with the Russian government and knew that this was a likely outcome.

On Wednesday, Bruce Fein, Snowden’s father’s attorney expressed hope that Snowden, Russia, and the U.S. might be able to come to some kind of agreement that would be fair to all parties in the future.

“There may be a time where it would be constructive to try and meet and see whether there can’t be common ground that everyone agrees would advance the interest, the United States, Mr. Snowden, Lon, his father, and the interest of Russia in trying to resolve this in a way that honors due process and the highest principles of fairness and civilization,” Fein said in an interview on Anderson Cooper 360.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Get Uinterview's FREE iPhone App For Daily News Updates here.

Get the FREE Uinterview iPad app here and watch our videos anywhere.

More on Edward Snowden:

Edward Snowden Admits Role As NSA Leaks Source

Anna Chapman, Ex-Russian Spy, Proposes Marriage To Edward Snowden