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Edward Snowden to join Freedom of The Press Foundation Board of Directors

January 15, 2014, 11:07 UTC+3
The organization was founded in 2012 to support freedom of speech in the US
1 pages in this article
© EPA/KAY NIETFELD

Edward Snowden to join Freedom of The Press Foundation Board of Directors

The organization was founded in 2012 to support freedom of speech in the US

WASHINGTON, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden that unveiled documents on electronic surveillance programs of National Security Agency (NSA) will join the board of directors of the Freedom of The Press Foundation, as stated on the organization’s official website on Wednesday.

The organization was founded in 2012 to support freedom of speech in the US. Among its cofounders are, in particular, ex-employee of US Defense Ministry Daniel Ellsberg that handed to media a secret report of Pentagon on combat actions in Vietnam in 1971, famous actor John Cusack, and journalist Glenn Greenwald that helped Snowden to publish secret documents.

“It is tremendously humbling" to be called to serve the cause of our free press,” Snowden stated. He added, “The unconstitutional gathering of the communications records of everyone in America threatens our most basic rights, and the public should have a say in whether or not that continues”. Snowden, who will join the board of directors of the foundation in February, stressed, “Journalism isn't possible unless reporters and their sources can safely communicate”.

One of the main defenders of Snowden, Ellsberg, in his turn, called him his “personal hero” and “the quintessential American whistleblower”. He believes that Snowden’s leaks gave the American public “the chance to debate democratically the NSA's mass surveillance programs”.

In late 2013, a group of American experts presented to US President Barak Obama a report on NSA’s activity. Specialists familiar with the document say that it contains 40 recommendations. Obama is expected to deliver a speech on national security on Friday, January 17.

 

Snowden’s revelations

The scandal with the revelations of ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden broke in the US in early July 2013.

The first documents that Snowden handed to The Washington Post and The Guardian were published June 6. This was information about American secret services’ spying on internet users. According to data published, NSA and FBI for several years are collecting information about all phone calls of US major telecom companies’ clients. According to media reports, intelligence services within the framework of a special program called PRISM are collecting audio and video files, photographs, emails, documents and data about connections of users to specific web pages.

August 1, Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year.

December 27, New York court found US intelligence spying on phone calls of millions of Americans legal.

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