Edward Snowden’s Search for Political Asylum
Who will be brave enough to stand up to the United States?
By: Jaron Serven, Staff Writer
Edward Snowden, the former NSA technical contractor-turned-intelligence leaker, is currently seeking political asylum from at least 20 different countries, according to CBS and The Associated Press.
As this point, he’s been flat-out denied by Germany, Poland, Brazil, Finland and India. Snowden’s other applications to most of central Europe and other parts of South America have yet to receive a response.
Further, it is being reported that Snowden has withdrawn his request for asylum in Russia after President Putin made it clear in a statement on Monday that the request would only be granted if Snowden, “…stopped leaking US secrets.”
Snowden is wanted by the United States for leaking evidence of the existence of mass-surveillance programs operating clandestinely, first published in The Guardian.
According to documents released by Snowden, programs like PRISM had complete access to phone calls, emails, chats and more, directly from the servers of Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other leading U.S. Internet companies.
After revealing these documents to the press while on a visit to Hong Kong, Snowden managed to leave China ahead of a warrant for his arrest issued by the United States, and made it to Russia before having his passport revoked.
[pullquote]”My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them” – Snowden[/pullquote]
“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,” Snowden is quoted as saying in reference to the leaks. In a letter published on WikiLeaks, presumably written by Snowden, the political refugee denounced the Obama administration for revoking his passport, stating that the main fear of the government is its people—proof that Snowden is not yet finished with the United States.
The nation, and the world, seems divided on Snowden and the issues he’s made clear, some calling him a hero and deserving of asylum, other denouncing him a traitor who has endangered the lives of Americans.
Whatever you may think of him, or of the issues he’s leaked to the public, the world watches as Snowden tries to find a new place to call home.
Jaron Serven graduated last year as a Master in English from UAlbany, and is now a professional freelance writer/editor in the Greater New York City Area. Follow him on Twitter @j_serv, and check out his music and culture blog at www.jaronserven.com.
The Guardian – Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind the NSA Surveillance Revelations
The Guardian – NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily