Edward Snowden Takes Up Position as Glasgow University Rector

The NSA whistleblower, in Russia under temporary asylum since leaving the U.S. last May, was elected by students to represent them.

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Edward Snowden on a screen as he speaks via video conference at another event earlier this month.
Edward Snowden on a screen as he speaks via video conference at another event earlier this month. Credit: Reuters
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has taken up his new role as rector of Glasgow University - via video link from Russia.

The 30-year-old, who is in Russia under temporary asylum since leaving the U.S. last May, addressed some 200 students and faculty remotely, the BBC reported.

The rector is elected by students to represent them. Duties include work with the students' representative council and liaising with university management on behalf of students. Snowden was elected by 3,124 votes in the first round of voting, and 3,347 in the second. Former Glasgow University rectors have included Winnie Mandela and Mordechai Vanunu, the BBC said.

Snowden said he was honored to take up the position, and apologized for not being there in person.

"I'm disappointed and I must apologize for being unable to attend in person, but unfortunately I've discovered that I'm barred from entering the United Kingdom on the grounds that my presence is considered detrimental to the public good," the BBC cited him as saying.

"I do think it's fair to say that the election shows the students of this university have a different opinion."

"People have a right to know the policies of their government," he said. "We may not need to know the names and identities of every target of surveillance on every active operation, but we should know the general outlines and what the government is doing in our name, and particularly what the government is doing against us."

Snowden is expected to serve for three years as rector, the BBC reported.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism