Edward Snowden now accepts donations in Bitcoin for his legal defense fund.
Snowden is one of the most well-known people in the world. The computer professional made his name after he exposed the massive spying programs that are being used against not only American citizens, but everyone in the world. Because of how he came by this evidence, though, Snowden is now a fugitive from the United States and is taking shelter in Russia.
Snowden is a fighter and his revelations changed the world. When the information was first released by Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, most people were aware that the government was monitoring internet traffic, but they were not aware of the extent of their snooping, which continues to this day. Snowden’s revelations both verified our suspicions, and also exposed the level of the government’s actions.
The government was quick to react to Snowden. First, they made him a fugitive by issuing warrants for his arrest and cancelling his passport. The next step was spin control. President Barack Obama made a public statement that the PRISM program was authorized under the US Patriot Act, Section 215. The problem with this defense, as described by Emma Roller of Slate, is that:
“[Section 215] must be 'relevant' to an authorized preliminary or full investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a U.S. person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
Snowden revealed that the government, specifically the National Security Agency (NSA), was conducting blanket surveillance of all American citizens and storing data for future use.
Snowden has been charged with numerous crimes by the US government, including “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.” When questioned about why he effectively destroyed what many would consider a highly successful life to release this information, Snowden said:
“I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
The Obama administration has been notoriously hard on whistleblowers. Legal defenses, especially against a government as powerful as the United States, are extremely expensive. Snowden has some powerful people in his corner, such as Congressman Ron Paul, who petitioned the Obama administration to excuse Snowden. The petition has collected 37,000 signatures.
Snowden is accepting donations in PayPal, credit card, check, bank transfer and now, of course, Bitcoin. Donations can be made at this location. The donation website is in fact owned and operated by WikiLeaks and is registered by Julian Assange, who made his name after publishing hundreds of thousands of documents that were very embarrassing to the US government. Assange received the documents from Army Private Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced last year to a 35-year term in federal prison.
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