When Edward Snowden shared USA intelligence documents with journalists in June 2013, he revealed the shocking extent of global mass surveillance.
He showed how governments were secretly hoovering 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. For the first time in 40 years, the USA passed laws to control 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. A former US Attorney General admitted that Snowden’s revelations “performed a public service”. Even President Obama said that this debate about surveillance “will make us stronger”.
Edward Snowden is a human rights hero. Yet he faces decades in prison, accused of selling secrets to enemies of the USA. With no guarantee of a fair trial in his home country, he is living in limbo in Russia.