Edward himself prefers “whistleblower”, which is probably closest to what he did: exposing a case of abuse of human rights for privacy. The same year, Snowden was charged with espionage and theft of government property, lost his US passport, and found asylum in Russia, where he has lived up until today.
Last September – a little bit more than seven years after the incident – Snowden’s case finally came to a head: U.S. federal court ruled that the NSA program he exposed did violate the law. And now, the story finally gets the ending it deserved in mid-April, Snowden created and sold his own non-fungible token, demonstrating that an NFT can also be a statement.
“Stay free” artwork is a digital combination of Snowden’s portrait by famous photographer Platon and 97 pages of September’s landmark court decision. After 26 hours of serious bidding, the NFT of the artwork was sold for 2,224 ETH to PleasrDAO, an anonymous organization specializing in purchasing high-value unique tokens. According to the DAO’s member Mariano Conti, Snowden perfectly represents the idea of transparency they’ve been supporting.
All money received from the auction will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation where Snowden has served as a president since 2016. First created in 2012, the non-profit has been supporting free speech and transparency journalism.
Mariano’s words echoed my thoughts on the matter: a couple of years ago, I realized how Snowden’s story and the concept of blockchain have a lot in common. Well, it’s always nice to be right, and I’m curious to see what our hero does next. Will it be some groundbreaking decentralized project to aid free speech?
What do you think of Snowden and the decisions he made? How would you act? Were you in his shoes?