30-year-old American Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden hailed as hero on social media
The response on social media to the unveiling of NSA’s biggest intelligence leak source, Edward Snowden, has been divided with some calling him a traitor, however the response to his coming out has been overwhelmingly positive, with the majority calling him a hero.
According to Buzzfeed, a technology platform, the current numbers on Twitter of those calling Snowden a hero outnumbers 30-1 to those calling him a traitor.
There is currently a crowdfunding campaign for Snowden to "reward this type of extremely courageous behaviour", which has so far raised 3,478 US dollars.
Supporters have also started a White House petition asking for a "full, free, and absolute pardon", with 4,510 signatures collected at the moment.
The whistleblower is trending on Twitter both under his full name and his surname.
To the Hong Kong government: This is your opportunity to be remembered as a place of good. Grant Edward Snowden asylum and protect him.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 9, 2013
How much time before Interpol issues a Red Notice on Edward Snowden? That might prevent him from flying out of Hong Kong.
— Nicholas Bequelin 林伟 (@Bequelin) June 10, 2013
Hong Kong?!?! #Snowden holed up in one of world's most expensive cities with extradition treaty to the US? Who's paying the bills?
— Shai Oster (@beijingscribe) June 10, 2013
Edward Snowden’s view that Hong Kong has “a spirited commitment to free speech” raises some doubts about the quality of US intelligence.
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 9, 2013
— Anonymous (@AnonOpsLegion) June 9, 2013
One has 3 weeks to disappear. Iceland is one's ostensible final destination. Why stop and stay in Hong Kong w/ so much time? #snowden
— Wieland (@lawscribe) June 10, 2013
#Snowden needs to reveal the detail on NSA spying on all other nations if he wants to generate real global pressure. Broad stats not enough.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 10, 2013
— Michael Shure (@michaelshure) June 9, 2013
Oh my Snowden is in Hong Kong? China's going to have a field day with this. #reversewanglijun
— Ben Lehman (@balehman) June 10, 2013
— Yining Su (@YiningSu) June 10, 2013