Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian lawmakers, who say the NSA whistleblower contributed to “transparency and global stability” by revealing the depth and sophistication of the global surveillance apparatus.
Snorre Valen and Baard Vegar Solhjell, parliamentarians from Norway’s Socialist Left Party, announced the nomination on Facebook on Wednesday.
Noting that “peace is more than simply the absence of war,” the MPs said that Snowden had contributed to global security by revealing “the nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance.”
“The level of sophistication and depth of surveillance that citizens all over the world are subject to, has stunned us, and stirred debate all over the world. By doing this, he has contributed critical knowledge about how modern surveillance and intelligence directed towards states and citizens is carried out,” a statement by the Norwegian MPs said.
— Bård Vegar Solhjell (@bardvegar) January 29, 2014
The legislators said Snowden’s leaks may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short-term, noting they do not necessarily support or condone all of the former NSA contractor’s disclosures.
“We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden's whistle-blowing has contributed to a more peaceful, stable and peaceful world order.”
Each year the Norwegian Nobel Committee invites 'qualified people' from national assemblies and governments, courts, universities and former laureates to submit nominations.
The deadline to nominate candidates for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is Saturday. The winner is announced on the second Friday of October each year.
In October, a group of US whistleblowers presented Snowden with the Sam Adams Award for ‘Integrity in Intelligence’ in Moscow, where the former NSA was granted temporary asylum.
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was present at the ceremony, told RT the award “is a candlestick holder for someone, who has shone bright light into dark corners.”
In July, the German branch of Transparency International also awarded Snowden its Whistleblower Award. That same month, a Swedish sociology professor also nominated NSA leaker Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize for his “heroic effort at great personal cost.”
Professor Stefan Svallfors said giving Snowden the Nobel nod could “save the prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision” to give the 2009 award to Barack Obama.
In 2013, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” OPCW inspectors entered Syria on October 1 to help implement a last minute plan hammered out by the United States and Russia which saw Syrian President Bashar Assad agree to destroy his chemical weapons stockpiles in order to avert US-led military strikes in the country.
The Nobel Committee received far more criticism the previous year by opting to grant the European Union the peace prize "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."