Snowden wins Swedish Human Rights award

The famed whistleblower continues to garner international praise even as the US government continues to claim that he is a traitor who must be punished.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance.

Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.

His father, Lon, who was in the chamber for what was an emotional ceremony, said: “I am thankful for the support of the Right Livelihood award and the Swedish parliament. The award will remain here in expectation that some time – sooner or later – he will come to Stockholm to accept the award.”

The awards jury, in its citation, said Snowden was being honoured “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights”.

Film review: Citizenfour (2014)

I saw this film yesterday and really enjoyed it. Documentarian Laura Poitras, a key person in the chain of events that led to the revelations of Edward Snowden, was in the odd position of making a documentary in which she could have been one of the featured people. But she is someone who hates the spotlight and she manages to largely write herself out of the film, appearing only in brief glimpses in mirrors or in the text of emails exchanged by her with Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and providing the voice for the emails she received from Snowden that started the process.
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The person who brought Snowden, Poitras, and Greenwald together

Micah Lee has a fascinating account about the role he played as an intermediary in enabling Edward Snowden to contact Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald and thus breaking the huge story. He was the initial contact for Snowden who had been unable to communicate securely with Poitras and Greenwald. Lee was a staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the chief technology officer of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, his public encryption key was available and had solid digital signature guarantees. Snowden thought that Lee could be trusted and would know the public key for Poitras, which he did
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New documentary on Snowden released

Award-winning documentarian Laura Poitras has just released her new film Citizenfour about Edward Snowden. (The title of the film is taken from one of the aliases he used in his initial communications with her.) Spencer Ackerman provides a review of the film while George Packer provides a lengthy profile of the notoriously publicity-shy Poitras and also discusses the film which he saw in Berlin before its release.
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New Zealand in Snowden’s crosshairs

The so-called ‘Five Eyes’ group of English-speaking nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have been revealed to have a secret agreement to spy on each other’s people and exchange information, thus enabling them to claim they do not spy on their own while getting whatever information they want. Up to now, this charade has been ripped open by the Snowden documents explicitly for the first four countries.
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The NSA’s nightmare of more Snowdens coming true?

James Bamford is a writer specializing in security issues. After great effort he managed to arrange an interview with Edward Snowden in Moscow for Wired magazine. The writer spent three full days spread out over three weeks interviewing Snowden for a cover story as to what made him do what he did, a question that continues to fascinate observers despite Snowden having seemingly answered it many times. The article is accompanied by several photographs that were take just before Bamford arrived in Moscow and the story of that photo shoot is itself pretty interesting.
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Interview with Snowden

The editor of the Guardian has an excerpt of an interview with Edward Snowden where he seems remarkably calm about his fate and says that he is even resigned to being sent to Guantanamo. He also says that the people working for the NSA routinely shared amongst themselves embarrassing photos that they found while snooping on people.

The full interview will be published later today.