Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the release of classified US government documents by Edward Snowden, detailing the extensive use of surveillance by the nation's intelligence apparatus,
a German artist has decided to show his support for the American whistleblower by "renaming" streets in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg. Joerg Janzer put temporary signs over existing streets signs to give the roads such names as "Snowden Strasse" (Snowden Street) and "Snowden Allee" (Snowden Avenue).
The case of Snowden has resonated with many Germans. It is seen as especially important particularly to those who lived in what was the former East Germany. Throughout the cold war era, the state security agency popularly known as the Stasi (German: Staatssicherheit) gained a reputation as one of the most effective and controversial intelligence agencies, known for extensive monitoring and varied surveillance methods.
Snowden, who has been offered asylum in Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela, has been in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong in late June. A former contractor for technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden is wanted by the US on charges of espionage. Snowden has been stranded in Moscow, having his travel documents suspended by US authorities. He has applied for temporary asylum in Russia and may be transferred to a refugee centre as his claim is processed.
'Action Snowdenstreet' is credited to Joerg Janzer of Janzerblog.wordpress.com
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