Snowden had previously leaked millions of classified documents to various members of the media, showing evidence of government spying on Internet users and wiretapping phone calls. He has been hiding in Russia ever since and is wanted by the U.S. on charges of theft and espionage.
When speaking of the incident, Snowden said:
“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.”
The Obama Administration has been notoriously hard on whistleblowers. Legal defenses of similar circumstances can be quite expensive for the defendants in question, and while Snowden does have some powerful people in his corner such as Congressman Ron Paul, many are not willing to accept the idea of Snowden not facing what they call the appropriate consequences.
Secretary of State John Kerry, for example, has mentioned that Snowden needs to “man up,” and that he should return to U.S. soil to face justice. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has also voiced a similar opinion, saying that Snowden has the right to “mount a defense.”
Aside from bitcoin, Snowden is also accepting donations via PayPal, as well as through credit cards, checks and money transfers.