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Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been nominated by two Norwegian MPs for the Nobel Peace Prize, a gong that President Obama won in 2009.

Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen said on Wednesday the public debate and policy changes "in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order."

Mr Snowden, who had worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency, made global headlines beginning in June last year when he unleashed revelation after revelation about government snooping in various countries.

His releases sparked diplomatic grumbles aplenty. One of the more problematic was the revelation that US spies tapped the German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal mobile phone.

Having fled the USA, initially for Hong Kong, he is currently in Russia under temporary asylum, though there have been hints that he could return to his native US, where the government deems him a criminal, under a plea bargain.

Late last year he was pipped to another august title - that of Time magazine's Person of the Year, which Pope Francis won.

In a joint statement, Solhjell and Valen said: "There is no doubt that the actions of Edward Snowden may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term.

"We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.

"His actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies."

Thousands of people around the world are eligible to nominate candidates for the prize, including any member of any national assembly. There were 259 nominees for last year's prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee will collect nominations for the 2014 prize up to 1 February and finalise a shortlist on 4 March, when the committee holds its first meeting of the year and members submit their own nominations. The winner will be announced on 10 October.

Former winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, which has been running since 1901 and is awarded annually in Oslo, Norway, include Nelson Mandela, Henry Kissinger, and Martin Luther King.

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Obama vows NSA phone data reform

GCHQ given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of text messages

Internet founder hails Snowden 

Snowden gives TV Christmas message

NSA and GCHQ agents acted as elves and gnomes to spy on gamers

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales: Edward Snowden is a hero 

NSA spied on pornography use and ‘online promiscuity’ to discredit those with radical views

GCHQ ran hotel surveillance ring to spy on diplomats and delegations

GCHQ set up fake LinkedIn pages to spy on mobile phone giants using using 'Quantum Insert' technique

Google engineers on NSA and GCHQ surveillance: "F*** these guys"

Germany demands explanation from British ambassador over GCHQ's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin'

Britain’s GCHQ has ‘secret listening post in the heart of Berlin to eavesdrop on the seat of German power'

Civil liberties groups claim British spy agency GCHQ broke European laws by hacking millions of citizens’ internet data 

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