Originally published by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, 25 September 2014
Being named recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for my work in revealing the global system of mass surveillance that’s monitoring all of us in secret without the consent of the public is a vindication, I think, not just of myself but of everyone who came before me to raise awareness about these issues.
Any contribution that I have made has been the result of the efforts of so many other people working in journalism, in activism, in the human rights communities, in the civil liberties communities – in the technical communities – who recognised long before I did what was coming and why it was so important to stop it.
Now initially, I thought I would be setting out to do this alone and that the attacks against me would isolate me, but I’m surrounded by more people than I ever have been. People from countries around the world who speak many different languages but who recognise that the meaning of resisting the violations of our freedoms that we see today is not that we have something to hide, but that we have something to protect – our rights.
Because the list of freedoms that any society enjoys is always equal to those that we are ready to defend.
On behalf of so many around the world who have risked their lives and their freedom to resist unlawful and disproportionate mass surveillance, I’d like to thank you.