Is there a Russian journalism award named after Edward Snowden?

The Moscow Times | The Interpreter

The head of the Russian Electronic Communications Association got permission to use Edward Snowden’s name for a new journalism award, Anna Dolgov reported in The Moscow Times, citing a story from Lenta.ru.

The announcement of the Snowden journalism prize came on the heels of a bill adopted by the State Duma that would require foreign Internet companies to release information about their users to Russian security services or face being banned from the country. Some commentators to point out the apparent irony of Snowden, seen by his supporters as fighting for the freedom of information, living as a political refugee in a country that suppresses such freedom.

But did Snowden actually give the OK?

On Thursday night, Ben Wizner, director of ACLU Speech and one of Snowden’s lawyers, tweeted that the news was not true.

That led to some questioning by blogger and author Catherine Fitzpatrick and BuzzFeed’s Max Seddon. Here are some of those tweets.

 

On Friday, Fitzpatrick wrote about the confusion for The Interpreter.

However this story turns out — whether Snowden didn’t keep his American supporters in the loop or whether Russian Internet professionals didn’t really reach Snowden somehow (but one of his minders?), this episode is a reminder for us of an interesting and troubling phenomenon: Snowden himself never communicates directly on social media like Twitter, and is never able to be reached by just any reporter, but only a small circle of trusted “adversarial journalists,” as Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of Snowden’s leaked documents, terms them.

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