Edward Snowden is Turning to Bitcoin

Bitcoin donations can now be made to the legal defense of American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden made headlines in 2013 when he leaked classified documents containing evidence of global surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Snowden currently faces charges of theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person from the United States government. The US has also requested his extradition from Russia, where he currently resides.

When asked about why he chose to expose secret NSA documents to the public, Snowden explained, “I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

Snowden’s legal defence is funded by the Courage Foundation, which “supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record”. Donations are audited by UK accounting firm Derek Rothera & Company, which also notably administers donations for the legal defense of Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

An increasing number of non-profit organizations are also accepting donations in the form of cryptocurrency. In July 2013, online encyclopedia Wikipedia raised announced that it would accept the digital currency. Other organizations that accept bitcoin contributions include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Free Software Foundation, and the Tor Project.