Until last week the word was oblivious to NSA’s secret PRISM program. Then Edward Snowden happened, a 29 year old former CIA technical assistant, who leaked top secret documents related to this program. The documents say that through PRISM, NSA is able to collect information from major internet companies based in the U.S., these include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype and more. Many of these companies have denied knowing that PRISM even existed, though it has been reported that data collection usually happens without companies knowing. Edward Snowden first flew away from U.S. soil and landed in Hong Kong before he leaked these documents, obviously fearing for his life and the legal implications that his actions might entail. However he has been receiving rousing support from online communities and individuals, campaigns have already been started to provide him with monetary assistance as well.

James Clapper, the U.S. National Director of Intelligence has said that the PRISM program is lawful, adding that the leak was “reckless.” The U.S. government may begin extradition proceedings against him, worse things than that could happen to Edward as well. A petition has already been started on the official petition site titled Pardon Edward Snowden. The objective is to get him a full, free and absolute pardon for “any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.” To get an official response from the White House, this petition needs 100,000 signatures. As of this writing, 29,245 people have signed the petition. The petition does not have any compulsion on the government’s stance on this matter, the least they will do is post an official statement detailing their point of view.

Another campaign for Edward is well underway, this one is a crowd-sourced funding campaign aimed at providing monetary assistance to him to the tune of $15,000. This campaign, launched on CrowdTilt, has of this writing collected $8,313 of the $15,000 goal with 9 days left to go. Would you support Edward through any of these two campaigns? Do tell us the reason why you choose to or not to lend support to these campaigns.

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