Who Is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden is a 31 year old US citizen, former Intelligence Community officer and whistleblower. The documents he revealed provided a vital public window into the NSA and its international intelligence partners’ secret mass surveillance programs and capabilities. These revelations generated unprecedented attention around the world on privacy intrusions and digital security, leading to a global debate on the issue.
Snowden worked in various roles within the US Intelligence Community, including serving undercover for the CIA overseas. He most recently worked as an infrastructure analyst at the NSA, through a Booz Allen Hamilton contract, when he left his home and family in Hawaii to blow the whistle in May 2013. After travelling to Hong Kong, Snowden revealed documents to the American public on the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, which were shown to be operating without any public oversight and outside the limits of the US Constitution. The US government has charged Snowden with theft of government property, and two further charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
With the US pursuing his extradition, Snowden is now in Russia, where he was formally granted three years’ residency from 1 August 2014, after a year of temporary asylum in Russia ended on 31st July 2014. Journalists continue to publish documents from Snowden that reveal the secret and unaccountable systems of modern global surveillance.
Quick facts about Edward Snowden
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Why Edward Snowden should be pardoned
Edward Snowden is a hero not a traitor
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He stood up for our rights, prompting a global debate on mass surveillance that changed the world – yet he faces decades in prison for it.
When Edward Snowden shared US intelligence documents with journalists in June 2013, he revealed the shocking extent of global mass surveillance. He showed how governments were secretly scooping up huge chunks of our personal communications, including private emails, phone locations, web histories and so much more. All without our consent.
His courage changed the world. He sparked a global debate, changing laws and helping to protect our privacy. Edward Snowden is a human rights hero, yet he faces decades in prison under charges that treat him like a spy who sold secrets to enemies of the USA.
Please sign our petition, which we have launched in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Pardon Snowden campaign.
Tell President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden, a whistleblower who acted solely in the public interest.
Dear President Trump
When Edward Snowden shared US intelligence documents with journalists in 2013, he did so because he believed that the government and citizens of his country – and the world – needed to confront the truth. That truth was the existence of a global mass surveillance system deployed by governments to spy on our personal communications, including private emails, phone locations, web histories and more.
In choosing to share this information, Edward Snowden prompted a global debate, changing laws and helping to protect our privacy. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the USA passed laws to restrict government surveillance. Globally, technology companies including Apple and WhatsApp, are now doing more to protect our personal information.
None of this would have happened without Edward Snowden. Former US Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that Snowden “performed a public service”. Even you, Mr President, have said that this debate about surveillance “will make us stronger”. And yet, Edward Snowden still faces decades in prison under laws that equate whistleblowing in the public interest with selling secrets to enemies of the USA.
I am confident that history will remember Edward Snowden for the reforms he helped bring about. But there is no need to wait for history’s judgement.
White House Responds to Petition Urging Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden
Joe Rogan Experience #1536 – Edward Snowden
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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’
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