There are big chances that you have heard by now about Edward Snowden, a former contract with the National Security Agency that has become famous after revealing top secret government information to several media outlets. His leaks were essential to uncovering the global surveillance apparatus run by the NSA and its international partners.
The classified material obtained by Snowden was called the most significant leak in the history of the United States, revealing Internet surveillance programs, as well as the interception of US and European telephone data. One of the revelations was suggesting that US spies tapped even the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal mobile phone. Snowden is seen is a hero by many, but for the government, he’s a public enemy.
But now Edward Snowden has a chance of getting the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, as two Norwegian members of the Parliament have nominated him – Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister and Snorre Valen. The two MP’s say that Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a “more stable and peaceful world order.”
There is no doubt that the actions of Edward Snowden may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term.We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order. His actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies.
The Nobel prize has been running since 1901 and is awarded annually in Oslo, Norway. So, the fact that members of the Norwegian Parliament have proposed him for the Nobel Peace Prize could improve his chance of winning. After all, if Obama got this prize, why wouldn’t Snowden get it, right? Snowden could have won another award last year, when he was runner up to Time magazine’s Person of the Year, which Pope Francis won.
There were 259 nominees for last year’s prize, which was won by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for its efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical arsenal. The Norwegian Nobel Committee will collect nominations up to 1 February; with a shortlist being ready on 4 March. However, the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on 10 October. What do you think – can Snowden win?