15 January, 06:33

Snowden to join Greenwald as new Freedom of Press Foundation board member

Snowden to join Greenwald as new Freedom of Press Foundation board member

The Freedom of the Press board of directors is set to bring on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as its newest member. The addition will come into effect next month, the org announced.

“I am proud and honored to welcome Edward Snowden to Freedom of the Press Foundation’s board of directors,” said FPF co-founder Daniel Ellsberg. “Leaks are the lifeblood of the republic and, for the first time, the American public has been given the chance to debate democratically the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. Accountability journalism can’t be done without the courageous acts exemplified by Snowden, and we need more like him.”

“The secrecy system in this country is broken", Ellesberg continued. "No one is punished for using secrecy to conceal dangerous policies, lies, or crimes, yet concerned employees who wish to inform the American public about what the government is doing under their name are treated as spies. Our ‘accountability’ mechanisms are a one-sided secret court, which acts as a rubber stamp, and a Congressional ‘oversight’ committee, which has turned into the NSA’s public relations firm. Edward Snowden had no choice but to go to the press with information. Far from a crime, Snowden’s disclosures are a true constitutional moment, where the press has held the government to account using the First Amendment, when the other branches refused.”

Another FPF co-founder Glenn Greenwald said: "We began this organization to protect and support those who are being punished for bringing transparency to the world's most powerful factions or otherwise dissent from government policy. Edward Snowden is a perfect example of our group's purpose, as he's being persecuted for his heroic whistleblowing, and it is very fitting that he can now work alongside us in defense of press freedom, accountability, and the public’s right-to-know."

In response, Mr. Snowden said: "It is tremendously humbling to be called to serve the cause of our free press, and it is the honor of a lifetime to do so alongside extraordinary Americans like Daniel Ellsberg on FPF’s Board of Directors. The unconstitutional gathering of the communications records of everyone in America threatens our most basic rights, and the public should have a say in whether or not that continues. Thanks to the work of our free press, today we do, and if the NSA won't answer to Congress, they'll have to answer to the newspapers, and ultimately, the people."

Snowden will join founding members including Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, John Cusack, Xeni Jardin, John Perry Barlow and Ellsberg, a former United States military analyst who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Freedom of the Press Foundation was founded in 2012 in part to build a movement to support and strengthen the First Amendment and defend those who are on the front lines holding power to account.

Freedom of the Press Foundation is currently raising money and awareness for a variety of open-source encryption tools, along with helping media organizations install SecureDrop, a whistleblower submission system.

Snowden will officially join the board of directors in February 2014.

Voice of Russia, NY Daily News, Economic Times

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