Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Whistle-blower Snowden gets own action figurine


Move over, G.I. Joe, there’s a new action figure in town: fugitive US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden., based in the Pacific Northwest state of Oregon, is marketing a 30cm likeness of the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor for US$99, it said on Tuesday on its Web site.

It comes appropriately dressed in a blue shirt, casual trousers and black high-top basketball shoes, though grey-striped business suit, Indiana Jones and combat uniform options are available.

Proceeds will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit that added Snowden — living in asylum in Russia — to its board of directors in January this year, said.

However, in an e-mail, the foundation’s executive director Trevor Timm said the group — whose board also includes Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame — has never been contacted about the toy.

“It’s not us selling the dolls, I’m actually not sure who is,” Timm said. “The first time I saw anything about it was when someone tweeted about it and no one has contacted us about it since.”, whose catalog of action figures also includes WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange, did not respond to a telephone call and an e-mail for comment.

However, it said on its Web site: “Disclaimer: Edward Snowden and Freedom of the Press Foundation does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site or our Edward Snowden figure.”

In other developments, Snowden has been elected to the post of student rector at Glasgow University in Scotland, one of Britain’s oldest.

He was nominated for the post by a group of students.

University officials said the computer analyst beat three other candidates in an online vote that attracted a record turnout to win the three-year role of rector at the university, which dates back to 1451.

The rector is meant to represent student issues to university officials, but it has previously served a political designation, having been held by Winnie Mandela in 1987 and Israeli whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu in 2005.

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