Snowden’s Letter of Appeal to Washington

To whom it may concern,

I have been invited to write to you regarding your investigation
of mass surveillance.

I am Edward Joseph Snowden, formerly employed through contracts
or direct hire as a technical expert for the United States
National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and
Defense Intelligence Agency.

In the course of my service to these organizations, I believe I
witnessed systemic violations of law by my government that
created a moral duty to act. As a result of reporting these
concerns, I have faced a severe and sustained campaign of
persecution that forced me from my family and home. I am
currently living in exile under a grant of temporary asylum in
the Russian Federation in accordance with international law.

I am heartened by the response to my act of political expression,
in both the United States and beyond. Citizens around the world
as well as high officials - including in the United States - have
judged the revelation of an unaccountable system of pervasive
surveillance to be a public service. These spying revelations
have resulted in the proposal of many new laws and policies to
address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust. The
benefits to society of this growing knowledge are becoming
increasingly clear at the same time claimed risks are being shown
to have been mitigated.

Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive,
my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks
to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide
no defense. However, speaking the truth is not a crime. I am
confident that with the support of the international community,
the government of the United States will abandon this harmful
behavior. I hope that when the difficulties of this humanitarian
situation have been resolved, I will be able to cooperate in the
responsible finding of fact regarding reports in the media,
particularly in regard to the truth and authenticity of
documents, as appropriate and in accordance with the law.

I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the
situation is resolved, and thank you for your efforts in
upholding the international laws that protect us all.

With my best regards,

Edward Snowden
31 October 2013


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