Edward Snowden Petition Aims To Pardon NSA Whistleblower

Kim LaCapria

An Edward Snowden petition was started yesterday on the We The People White House petition site, aimed at preventing charges against the NSA whistleblower currently in hiding in Hong Kong.

Almost as soon as Edward Snowden gave a lengthy and detailed interview to the UK's Guardian, sentiment in the realm of internet freedom and on most social media sites has been positive in regards to the 29-year-old's actions -- with many calling the security contractor now in fear for his life a "hero," and a true patriot.

The Edward Snowden petition showed up on We The People Sunday afternoon, and has rapidly grown to over 12,000 signatures. The petition's mission reads:

"Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs."

In addition to the petition to prevent charges being brought against Snowden, sites like Facebook and Reddit have emerged as a wellspring of support for the whistleblower as his fate is considered. As the petition hit the front page of Reddit, it is increasing in number of signees in the hundreds per minute.

Over on Facebook, the Edward Snowden Support Page has grown to over 1,000 supporters, with many leaving messages thanking the former NSA contractor for his actions.

A thread on Reddit (where it has been speculated Snowden may have been a registered user) has garnered much interaction, with one Redditor saying Snowden "went full martyr" by exposing the US government's actions in comprehensively spying on its citizens.

Another Redditor called Snowden the "bravest man in the world," and one said Reddit should "finish what he started." In his Guardian interview, Snowden referred to a subreddit titled r/restorethefourth and hinted at dissent over the NSA spying revelations.

Since Snowden's interview, that subreddit has grown exponentially in subscribers.

The Edward Snowden petition needs 100,000 signatures by July 9 to mandate an official White House response.