Former CIA employee, Edward Snowden, who is seeking asylum in Russia after making it publically known that numerous global surveillance programs were being run by the NSA and the Five Eyes is in the public eye again.
It was announced today that he had won the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression prize, which he has since accepted via video link from Russia. The prize includes 100,000 Nrwegian kroner ($12,000 USD) “for his work on the important issue of the right of privacy”. He was nominated on behalf of the Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL parties.
Snowden also made news today when he publically criticized Russia for its crackdown on internet freedom and negative attitude towards gay rights. Not the wisest decision since he is living in Russia and reliant on them not to act on extradition back to USA.
“I’ve been quite critical of [it] in the past and I’ll continue to be in the future, because this drive that we see in the Russian government to control more and more the internet, to control more and more what people are seeing, even parts of personal lives, deciding what is the appropriate or inappropriate way for people to express their love for one another … [is] fundamentally wrong,” Snowden was quoted as saying in reference to Russia.
Despite his disapproval of some of Russia’s policies, Snowden stated that he feels free to say as he pleased online. “I do. And I think it’s primarily in the context of the fact that most activities happen online. I mean, when people ask me where I live, the most honest answer is on the internet.”
Snowden, who emigrated from Hawaii in May 2013 to Hong Kong, where he leaked the classified info before finding asylum in Russia, also said that his life is now normal but he misses the US…what’s there to miss? He claims the country has abused the privacy rights of almost every citizen.