Transparency International Germany: Whistleblower Prize 2013 for Edward Snowden

Issued by Transparency International Germany

Translations: DE

This year's Whistleblower Prize goes to the American Edward J. Snowden. As an insider, he exposed the large-scale surveillance and storage of communications data without given suspicions by Western secret services. The Whistleblower Prize is awarded to people who reveal major grievances and dangerous developments for individuals and society, for peace and the environment in the public interest.

The Whistleblower Prize has been awarded bi-annually by the German chapter of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Federation of German Scientists (FGS, the German Pugwash group) since 1999. The prize money is 3000 Euros. Previous winners include, among others, Rainer Moormann (2011: Risks of pebble bed reactors), Rudolf Schmenger / Frank Wehrheim (2009: tax inspectors in Frankfurt) and Brigitte Heinisch (2007: Berlin geriatric nurse). This year, for the first time, the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International Germany is involved in the Whistleblower Prize.

In the view of the jury, the revelations of Edward J. Snowden leave no choice but to thoroughly check the facts and the state of the evidence. On this basis, the actions and processes of domestic and foreign intelligence services revealed by Snowden need to be examined to see whether they have breached the governing law, and if so, in what form. Based on current information, in Germany, Article 10 of the Basic Law [1] as well as the G10-law (regulating compliance of intelligence services with Article 10) have been violated. By publicising the information despite knowing of the prosecution of whistleblowers in the security industry, Edward Snowden accepted major disadvantages for himself.

Hartmut Grassl of the Federation of German Scientists stated: “an open society needs civil courage and courageous people like Edward Snowden in order to uncover and stop abuses.”

Otto Jaeckel, head of IALANA’s German section, said: "Who could be more suitable to grant a safe residence to a US citizen being persecuted than a country which has been spied upon by NSA as heavily as Germany! But also the EU as a whole has to act. Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing did a great service to Germany and other EU member states. Therefore, we should compete to take him in: out of conviction, but also out of gratitude.”

Edda Müller, Chair of Transparency Germany stated: “We owe Edward Snowden that his courageous actions have consequences. International treaties limiting the sovereignty of Germany must be changed. Great Britain, as a member state of the European Union, must explain very clearly in Brussels its position on the basic rights of EU citizens. Moreover, Germany needs to ensure adequate protection of whistleblowers through appropriate legal regulations.”


[1] Article 10 (Privacy of letters, posts, and telecommunications; amended 24 June 1968): (1)Privacy of letters, posts, and telecommunications shall be inviolable. (2) Restrictions may only be ordered pursuant to a statute. Where a restriction serves to protect the free democratic basic order or the existence or security of the Federation, the statute may stipulate that the person affected shall not be informed of such restriction and that recourse to the courts shall be replaced by a review of the case by bodies and auxiliary bodies appointed by Parliament. (

For any press enquiries please contact

For further information please contact:

Prof. Dr. Edda Müller, Chair
Dr. Christian Humborg, Executive Director

Transparency International Germany
+49 30 54 98 98 0
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Annegret Falter
Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler (VDW e.V.)

IALANA – German Section of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
+49 170/ 29 65 66 0
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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