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.
Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian politicians
Two Norwegian politicians have jointly nominated former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, saying his disclosures of secret US documents have contributed to making the world more peaceful.
Anyone can be nominated for the prestigious award, so the submission yesterday by Socialist lawmakers Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen means Snowden will be one of scores of names the Nobel committee will consider.
"We do not necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures," the two lawmakers said in their nomination letter. "We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden's whistle-blowing have contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order."
They praised him for 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 have stunned us, and stirred debate," they wrote.
They added that Snowden's actions had "led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies".
The five-member Nobel committee will not confirm who has been nominated. Saturday is the deadline for nominations from a range of people, including members of national parliaments and governments, university professors or previous laureates.
Valen agreed that the documents leaked by Snowden had "damaged the security interests of several nations".
"But to have the debate, you have to be aware of what is going on," he said.
The Nobel prize committee members can add their own candidates at their first meeting after Saturday's deadline. The winner will be announced in October.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse