The brief Wired report on the vote mentions that the resolution isn't binding but it's still great news. I'm very happy for Ed and he's happy too, from his Tweets, calling the landmark vote a "game-changer" and observing, "This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward."
Yes, well, it's also a way of expressing alarm at overweening U.S. clandestine surveillance of European citizens -- and some of the more troubling EU surveillance laws.
My one concern is that it would be easier for the U.S. government to grab Snowden in a European country than in Russia. And the vote shows there would still be plenty of Europeans willing to rat him out. I hope he will stay put for now.
October 29, 2015
The resolution calling on the EU member states to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden was adopted Thursday by a majority of votes.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution Thursday, calling the EU states to end any persecution of whistleblower Edward Snowden and give him protection.
"By 285 votes to 281, MEPs decided to call on EU member states to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender," the press service said in a statement.
In the same resolution, the EU parliament raises concerns about surveillance laws in several EU countries.
Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, released in 2013 a trove of classified documents detailing bulk US intelligence data collection in the United States, Europe and many other targets around the world.
Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August 2013, before receiving a three-year residency permit from the country the following year.
In the United States, he may face up to 30 years in prison on espionage charges for his revelations of the depth of illegal surveillance activities by the US intelligence community.