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29 Oct

Free Edward Snowden

Free Snowden | In Defense of Edward Snowden

*Help cover the defence costs of the whistleblower who revealed the NSA mass surveillance programmes.*

*Donate and Act*

Who Is Edward Snowden?

Edward Snowden is a 30 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 asylum on 1 August 2013. Journalists continue to publish documents from Snowden that reveal the secret and unaccountable systems of modern global surveillance.

Quick facts

For quick access to information on all aspects concerning Edward Snowden and his case, please read our Frequently asked questions page.

Edward Snowden: Sam Adams Award

Snowden talks at the Sam Adams Award award ceremony in October 2013 about the secret surveillance he revealed and its dangers to democracy.

Five easy actions

“The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.”  – Edward Snowden

A primary motivation for Edward Snowden blowing the whistle on government mass surveillance was to give citizens the opportunity of an informed public debate on secret mass surveillance systems, as well as the opportunity for greater awareness and accessibility of privacy protection tools. Here are five ways you can support his cause:

Mr Snowden’s legal defence and its associated public campaign will be a long and expensive journey that can only be successful with your support.

After the US cancelled Edward Snowden’s passport and worked with its allies to prevent his lawful travel as an asylum seeker he sought temporary asylum in Russia, which he was granted for one year. At the end of the year Mr Snowden will need to legally apply for asylum again, in Russia or elsewhere.

A strong legal team and an ongoing public campaign is paramount for Mr Snowden’s defence. Making a donation is one of the most effective ways you can help protect Edward Snowden’s human rights as a whistleblower: Donate to Edward Snowden’s defence.

2. Write for change

You can make a difference by tweeting, blogging, posting on Facebook and Reddit or utilising other forms of media to spread knowledge about mass surveillance. You can also write to your local elected representatives or, if you enjoy writing, why not compose an open letter that can be shared with other supporters for a more targeted campaign?

Check our Revelations page to find out more about the latest revelations on mass surveillance. Our Impact page has resources for keeping track of ongoing hearings, investigations and legislative proposals.

3. Download Tor

Begin to protect yourself from online surveillance by downloading Tor. Using Tor will not guarantee your security, but it is a good starting point for maintaining your anonymity online.

“Tor” is an acronym for “The Onion Router”. The Tor software protects you by using a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. It prevents anyone who may be watching your internet connection from learning what sites you visit; the sites you visit from learning your physical location; and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

Tor is free and easy to use. You can learn more about how Tor works and when to use it from the Tor Project website. Please choose the right version for your computer here.

4. Events

Join an event in support of Edward Snowden and to protest government mass surveillance. Upcoming events will be posted on our Events page, so check it regularly to find out about events in your area to support Edward Snowden and his goals.

5. Petitions

Sign and share petitions calling for accountability, transparency and reform of the warrantless mass surveillance systems that Edward Snowden has revealed. See our Petitions page for active petitions in your region.

*Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund

The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund raises money for the legal defence campaign of Mr. Edward Snowden. This fund is the only fund endorsed by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks.

By Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund
London, United Kingdom

The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund raises money for Journalistic sources’ legal defence. Periodically it will nominate sources it wishes to direct legal and campaign aide to. For its first source it has selected Mr. Edward Snowden whose revelations have exposed the extent to which the world is being mass surveilled by the United States.

Derek Rothera & Company Charted Accountants is appointed to administer the Fund, which is governed by the laws of the United Kingdom. The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund is audited and can only spend funds on the legal defence campaign of the nominated journalistic sources. The terms of the fund and its trustees can be obtained from Rothera & Co.

Mr. Snowden is currently in Russia where he has been granted temporary asylum. The United States government is exerting substantial pressure on Russia and other countries in an attempt to force Mr. Snowden to the United States where he will face decades in prison or worse.

Mr. Snowden’s legal defence and its associated public campaign will be a long and expensive journey which will only be overcome with your support. Support the right to know. Support Edward Snowden.

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