Announced on 7 April 2014, awarded on 30 April 2014
Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras were named as joint winners of the 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling on 7 April 2014. The awards committee explained that “We have selected Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras for their efforts to expose the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional bulk collection of the communications of millions of people living in the United States. Their act of courage was undertaken at great personal risk and has sparked a critical and transformative debate about mass surveillance in a country where privacy is considered a constitutionally-protected right.”
Both winners spoke at the Ridenhour awards ceremony on 30 April 2014, by video link from Moscow and Berlin respectively, in a discussion moderated by James Bamford. Footage follows below, along with a full transcript.
Originally published in the Guardian, 18 April 2014
On Thursday, I questioned Russia’s involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: “Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals’ communications?”
Judge William Paley’s opinion and order of 27 December 2013 holds that the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone metadata is lawful under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the Fourth Amendment, granting the government’s motion to dismiss a case brought by the ACLU.
Payley’s ruling in the Southern District of New York conflicts with a recent decision of Judge Richard J. Leon in the District of Columbia, increasing the likelihood that the US Supreme Court will be called upon to adjudicate the issue. The ACLU plans to appeal the ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals: see the ACLU article, ALCU v Clapper – Challenge to NSA Mass Call-Tracking Program, 27 December 2013.