Respected human rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign to get President Obama to withdraw espionage charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Amnesty has stepped up its campaign to get the charges against him dropped to mark the two year anniversary of Snowden going public on the extent of the NSA’s illegal surveillance activities against law-abiding American citizens.
Snowden narrowly escaped U.S. attempts to extradite him, eventually ending up in Russia where he currently lives. Due to a serious U.S. effort to capture him, he cannot leave Russia.
Amnesty spokeswoman Harriet Garland said that
“Snowden’s actions changed the face of digital communications globally. Thanks to him, we now know that governments everywhere are intercepting and storing the private information of people on a mass scale, without our consent.”
In a streamed interview on Tuesday, Snowden termed the recent expiry of the Patriot Act a minor victory. As we’ve profiled here, the expiry does little to the agency’s spy schemes but does show public support is turning against the spying.
Snowden also warned of UK spy zealot David Cameron’s unprecedented attack of privacy and human rights.
“If you think this doesn’t matter to you because you’ve got nothing to hide, think again: this is about your right to privacy, a right that is being violated when you make a call, send an email or search something on the internet,” said Amnesty.
Snowden currently faces up to 30 years in prison if he returns to the United States. Amnesty called the penalties a shocking price to pay for exposing human rights abuses.