What are Snowden Awards?
The Snowden award is given yearly to one who sacrifices his/her own well being for the sake of the broader community. If someone inspired you by a courageous act you can make them an award candidate here! Following is a brief history of Edward Snowden's sacrifice.
While working for the intelligence community Edward Snowden observed surveillance overreach that violated constitutionally guaranteed privacy rights. He hoped to prompt the intelligence community to return to it's own stated ideals by his disclosure of intelligence abuses to journalists. When the story broke many shared Edward's hope of closing breaches of privacy, but the intelligence community didn't presume to correct itself. Did Snowden cause any ill affects? Well, at least not wittingly. Motivated by his principals he sacrificed for the American people. Edward Snowden is called a traitor by his government, yet a hero by his people. This makes him a unique POW. Not captured by an enemy but hunted by his own country for exposing violations of it's laws. He's presently safest behind enemy lines.
Choosing Edward Snowden as a symbol of courage and self sacrifice need not imply that Kieth Alexander (the NSA director) was a villain. Perhaps his policy to “collect it all” trusting that “the authorities will follow” resulted from a belief that criminals would inevitability glean our personal information, and that the NSA would need that same information to track criminal activity on behalf of the American people. After the Snowden revelations general Alexander told congress the NSA was “not wittingly” collecting data on citizens. As of today we know corporations have “wittingly” collected your data. The age of surveillance capitalism could not have been prevented by the strategy of either of these men. Keith Alesander and Edward Snowden wrestled with ethical and moral considerations with a motive of protecting our liberty and safety. Corporations continue collection, their motive is profit.