Barack Obama should grant a full pardon to Edward Snowden when the president leaves the White House in January 2017, according to a campaign by Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The US constitution grants presidents the right to issue pardons when leaving office. The Pardon Edward Snowden campaign is appealing directly to Obama to grant a full pardon to Snowden, enabling the National Security Agency whistleblower to return home to the US.
The launch of the campaign is expected to see Snowden speak live from his home in Russia, where he currently lives in exile.
This has led to the usual rhetoric surrounding Snowden, such as 'international hero', 'national traitor' and 'who?'.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said once again on Monday that Snowden should and will face trial for his leaks, which "damaged the United States", but would be treated fairly if he chose to come in.
The US security establishment, though, is likely to vehemently oppose any such proposal, if not in public then certainly in private.
Amnesty International, a vocal supporter of Snowden, said that his actions were above reproach, given that they exposed "indiscriminate mass surveillance of communications", citing this as a direct breach of human rights for American, and indeed global, citizens.
The ACLU, meanwhile, extended its support for Snowden, describing him as "a great American who deserves clemency for his patriotic acts".
Snowden revealed to the BBC last year that UK agencies could hack and even control mobile phones, switching them on and off at will, as well as tapping into them using a technique called 'Smurf'. This is because freedom of expression advocates became very blue after finding out about it.
The revelations have not sat well with security agencies on either side of the pond and the likelihood of Snowden ever being able to live a normal life, even after a pardon, is highly unlikely.
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