Today marks five years since the Guardian published Verizon’s FISA court order, the first story based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At the time this story appeared, the whistleblower’s name was not known. It was three days and several enormous stories later that Snowden finally stepped out of the shadows, the source of the biggest public archive of top secret documents in history.
On Monday 15 August, a previously unknown group of hackers called The Shadow Brokers launched an auction for what they claimed was source code from the NSA-associated Equation Group. A sample of what was claimed to be Equation Group hacking tools was also released on github and a manifesto delivered on Pastebin.
RootsAction, Norwegian PEN and Networkers South-North are launching a campaign and petition at 4pm local time today in support of bringing Edward Snowden to Norway in order to receive the Ossietzky Prize in November this year. The petition’s initial signatories include Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Daniel Ellsberg, Marit Arnstad, Jesselyn Radack, Arne Ruth, Ola Larsmo, Coleen Rowley, Thomas Drake, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Marjorie Cohn, William Binney, William Nygaard, John Kiriakou, Moddi og Mari Boine.
Denmark has confirmed that it allowed its airspace to be used for a US government jet, previously implicated in expedition operations, which was intended for Edward Snowden.
The US operation was first revealed in June 2014 when Duncan Campbell wrote that a private Gulfstream jet with tail number N977GA had taken off from an airport near Washington, on an unconventional flight path, on the same evening Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow. On arrival at Sheremetyevo Airport, Snowden found that his passport had been cancelled by the US Government, which resulted in his being forced to stay in the airport for 40 days until he was granted asylum in Russia.
The European Parliament has voted 285-281 for its member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender.”
Today the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on a complaint brought by Max Schrems, a 27-year-old graduate student, in response to Edward Snowden’s revelations. Schrems had argued that Facebook’s cooperation with the PRISM programme revealed by Edward Snowden meant that it was not adequately protecting the data of its European customers.
Edward Snowden, in his role as rector of University – a post he was elected to last year – has delivered a videolink address to students during Freshers week. His speech, the full transcript of which follows below, reflects on the progress that has been made since his revelations began, the ability of individuals to make a profound difference in a changing world and expresses concerns about higher education laws proposed by the Scottish government.
Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg appeared on the first episode of Al Jazeera series UpFront on 4 Sepember 2015.