In UpFront’s Headliner segment, Snowden responds to his critics, including presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. He describes his life in exile and comments on what it would take for him to return to the US. Mehdi Hasan also asks whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg if the end justifies the means. UpFront is a new series on Al Jazeera. With the thrust and parry of rigorous debate, Mehdi Hasan cuts through the headlines to challenge conventional wisdom, highlight contradictions and uncover double standards.
Watch the full show at Al Jazeera
Edward Snowden Receives the Norwegian Freedom of Speech Prize
This year’s Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression Bjornson prize went to Snowden, who in his address to the audience disputed accusations that his whistleblowing was done to damage the US or get back against its intelligence services.
Snowden said that as he became increasingly exposed to top secret material, he noted that the statements offered on a number of issues by the US establishment were not “simply untrue” but raised questions as to how the US was “interpreting the law.”
“And this is fundamentally dangerous. It is about more than just surveillance, I think. It is about democracy. It is about the relationship between the governed and the governing,” Snowden said.
While critiquing US mass data collection and spying on “everyone” 24/7, Snowden said that he remains a patriot whose duty is to protect freedom of speech and inform the public. At the same time in the United States, he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property.
Source: RT News