[Update 8/31/13] Yesterday, at a ceremony in Berlin, German scientists, lawyers and activists awarded Edward Snowden with the 2013 Whistleblower Prize 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.” The prize, awarded biennially by the Federation of German Scientists (VDW), the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and Transparency International, included a cash award of $3,900 (USD).
Snowden, who disclosed massive surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, was honored in absentia with an empty chair. Jacob Appelbaum, a computer security researcher, accepted the award on Snowden’s behalf.
“[H]e asked me to speak about individuals and about the hope for change,” said Appelbaum. He said everyone had the strength to stand up against corruption, war crimes and lies – every day and at any time. It wasn’t so much about the topic of Internet freedom, but personal freedoms – spying on the Internet is commonplace, he said, something from which no one is immune. “That’s why we need an honest discussion of whether and how much we want to spy on each other.” (Deutche Welle)
Appelbaum read a letter from Snowden, and said “neither he nor Snowden were against the United States, but against corrupt forces in the current government” (Deutche Welle). Other speakers included Edd Muller, chair of Transparency International in Germany, journalist Sonia Seymour Mikich and Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist, who spoke via video.