For a guy living in exile, Edward Snowden sure is getting around.
Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistle blower, was recently named Person of the Year by UK paper The Guardian and is in the top 10 for the same honors from TIME Magazine. If that’s not enough, he may be testifying before the parliament of the European Union, according to National Public Radio.
Edward Snowden is having quite a year in 2013.
“Edward Snowden, who leaked an estimated 200,000 files that exposed the extensive and intrusive nature of phone and internet surveillance and intelligence gathering by the US and its western allies, was the overwhelming choice of more than 2,000 people who voted,” reads the intro from The Guardian.
With the honors, Edward Snowden follows fellow U.S. whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who received the title in 2012 for her contribution to whistleblower organization WikiLeaks.
In American media, Edward Snowden is also a member of the 10 finalists for TIME’s Person of the Year honors; Snowden is once again joined by Pope Francis on the short list. TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs was on the Today show Monday morning to announce Snowden and the other people in contention.
“It’s the person who’s had the most impact on events this year, for better or worse,” Gibbs said of the POY criteria.
Also joining Edward Snowden on the TIME list are entertainer Miley Cyrus, U.S. Republican senator Ted Cruz, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
Edward Snowden may also find himself videoconferencing with the EU parliament by year’s end. Having previously demurred on a request from German Green party member Hans-Christian Ströbele, Snowden showed interest in the video conference, according to Ströbele’s fellow Green Party member Jan-Philipp Albrecht. When meeting with Ströbele, Edward Snowden provided him with an open letter to the United States government, asking that he no longer be treated as a traitor.
“Speaking the truth is not a crime,” Snowden said.
What do you think of Edward Snowden’s popularity? Should Miley Cyrus be on the same list as Edward Snowden and Pope Francis? Will Edward Snowden ever receive clemency from the United States?