Edward Snowden is being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at shining a light on the government’s monitoring of phone data and Internet use. In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee (and translated by the Daily Mail)
, Swedish sociology professor Stefan Svallfors wrote:
“Edward Snowden has – in a heroic effort at great personal cost – revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program – conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements – Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer."
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Snowden is just the latest to reveal secret government actions. The existence of government surveillance was first revealed in a front-page USA Today story
published seven years ago. Stated the May 11, 2006, article:
“The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by ATT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.”
A recent Quinnipiac poll shows more than one-third of those questioned would call Snowden a traitor.
However, Svallfors’s letter states that a decision to award Snowden “would – in addition to being well justified in itself – also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. President Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defense of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defense be viewed with disfavor by the world’s dominant military power.”
The nomination was getting traction on Twitter today, with @Aristotle1865 saying that bestowing the award to Snowden would be a “huge step upward from Obama the war criminal.”
Tweeted @renegadesoffun: “Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, would correct the Obama mistake.”
Politico.com said Svallfor is allowed to submit a nomination
by virtue of his professorship at Umea University in Sweden. But the website noted that nominations for the 2013 award were supposed to be postmarked by Feb. 1, though late nominations are sometimes allowed. Nominations submitted after the deadline typically are considered the following year.
A record 259 nominations were sent to the Nobel Committee this year. Prizes are set to be announced in October.
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