Snowden Elected Rector at Glasgow University

Students show their support for former NSA contractor
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2014 3:23 PM CST
In this June 9, 2013, file photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong.    (AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File)

(Newser) – Taking office may be a little tricky, but Edward Snowden still supported students at Glasgow University in Scotland who elected him their new rector. The NSA whistleblower said he was "humbled by ... this historic statement in defense of our shared values," the Guardian reports. Indeed, it was a symbolic vote that showed student support for Snowden's exposure of secret NSA documents. "We oppose mass surveillance and intrusion to our private lives" and "believe whistleblowers should be honored," said a student who helped nominate Snowden, the BBC reports. Snowden, still living undercover in Russia, approved the nomination through his lawyer.

Officially, Snowden will have duties like attending the school's court and bringing student concerns to the office of university management—but the 3-year position is all voluntary. Previous office-holders include Winnie Mandela and Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed information about his country's nuclear weapons program in 1986. As for the Snowden vote, it was hardly close: He outpaced his nearest opponent, Scottish Episcopal clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth, by a difference of roughly 2 to 1. (For more Snowden news, see how he tricked a fellow NSA worker into giving him security clearance.)

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