Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Wozniak Back Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden

By James O Malley on at

A coalition of groups Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union have launched a new campaign to secure an official pardon for NSA bulk surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden, of course, made international headlines in 2013 when he leaked classified details on the National Security Agency's bulk surveillance programme to The Guardian and confirmed to the world that yes, the US security services are hoovering up literally all of our internet data. As the revelations broke, he fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where he was granted asylum, and is able to live well outside of the reach of the US government.

According to the campaign's website they want President Obama to officially issue the pardon, which would mean he couldn't be prosecuted and could return home, before he leaves office on January 20th. That's 126 days away at the time of writing.

Presumably the thinking is that if a pardon for Snowden is to be secured, they have a much better chance of persuading Obama than likely next President Hillary Clinton - who is thought to be a level of magnitude more hawkish on national security issues. Of course, if Donald Trump wins there's no telling what he could do - which could range from anything from issuing a pardon and declaring Edward Snowden Day a national holiday, to sending in Seal Team Six to take out Snowden, and risk starting WWIII with Russia in the process.

Read More: Why NSA whistleblower Bill Binney is backing Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

The campaign has already signed up a number of high profile supporters including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, famous whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and dozens of famous people including Daniel Radcliffe, who clearly thinks that revealing the contents of the US government's Chamber of Secrets was a good thing.

Other well known backers include Danny Glover, Maggie Gyllenhall, Michael Stipe, Amanda Palmer and Peter Gabriel.

Not coincidentally, the campaign launches today - the same day that the Snowden film is released in the US.