Edward Snowden is an American whistleblower living in exile in Russia after leaking classified United States National Security Agency (NSA) documents to the press. He has been called everything from a hero and a patriot to a dissident and a traitor after revealing that the U.S. was conducting extensive and intrusive surveillance on not only foreign countries and leaders, but its own citizens. While U.S. federal prosecutors have charged Snowden with violating the U.S. Espionage Act, his disclosures have led to the reform of an illegal U.S. surveillance program, a new federal law to end bulk collection of call data by the U.S. government, and widespread debates on national security, government secrecy, mass surveillance and information privacy. As a diverse coalition calls for the U.S President to pardon the NSA whistleblower, Snowden speaks remotely, from exile, to audiences around the world.
Ukrainian-born Arthur Bondar is a freelance photographer. He studied photography and human rights at New York University, and his works have been published in Time, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Times of London, and the Wall Street Journal.
In March 2016, the Allard Prize invited Ben Wizner, Director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City and principal legal advisor to Edward Snowden, to an open forum at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia. A video and summary of the event can be found here.