Edward Snowden

31-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

FILE - In this June 9, 2013, file photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong. Compared with their more moderate Republican or Democratic peers, tea party supporters and liberals are significantly more likely to oppose the collection of millions of ordinary citizens’ telephone and Internet data, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows. By a 2-to-1 margin, both tea party supporters and liberals say the government should put protecting citizens’ rights and freedoms ahead of protecting them from terrorists. (AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File)

EU members urged to protect Edward Snowden

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden should be offered protection as a “human rights defender” by a European member state and freedom from extradition or rendition, a slim majority of the European Parliament has ruled.