Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed the most extensive US global surveillance operations, has been awarded this year’s German ‘Whistleblower Prize’ worth USD 3,900 in absentia.
The biennial award was given to Snowden, 31, at a ceremony in Berlin yesterday in recognition of his “bold efforts to expose the massive and unsuspecting monitoring and storage of communication data, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies,” organisers of the prize said.
In a message from his asylum in Russia, Snowden warned against the dangers of a surveillance state.
“We should never forget the lessons of history when surveillance took the upper hand,” he said in a statement read out at the meeting.
He also reminded governments that they must be accountable to their citizens for their actions.