Today the European Union’s parliament voted 285 - 281 on a nonbinding resolution encouraging member states to drop all criminal charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and protect him from extradition to the United States.
Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group based in the U.S. celebrated this news and released the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:
The battle over mass government surveillance is a decisive moment in the history of humanity, and it’s hard to think of anyone who has done more than Edward Snowden to educate the public about the grave risks that runaway spying programs pose to our basic human rights, the future of the Internet, and freedom of expression.
The European Parliament agrees with the vast majority of people in the world that Edward Snowden is a courageous whistleblower whose actions have made us all safer. The United States government should be ashamed that it continues to criminalize Snowden and torture and imprison other whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning.
We hope that this resolution leads to a binding agreement in the EU that allows Edward Snowden to move to whichever EU country he wants, and we hope he gets an epic party thrown in his honor when he arrives."
Fight for the Future (FFTF) has been on the frontlines of the fight to end the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs since Edward Snowden first exposed them. They released "The NSA Video," narrated by actress Evangeline Lilly, and projected it onto the side of a building in Manhattan, leading to more than 440,000 views on YouTube.
The group also ran a "Thank Edward Snowden" campaign where more than 10,000 people publicly thanked Edward Snowden with heartfelt images. On the first anniversary of the original Snowden revelations, Fight for the Future organized the largest online campaign against surveillance in history, Reset the Net. It rallied the participation of thousands of major tech companies, and was endorsed by Edward Snowden himself through a written statement and on a video interview.
Recently, Fight for the Future has lead a series of high profile campaigns in fierce opposition to CISA, a cyber surveillance bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Monday. Edward Snowden also bolstered those efforts, joining FFTF’s reddit Q&A about the bill, and tweeting his support.