Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Norwegian lawmakers say former NSA contractor made the world a safer place

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Edward Snowden speaks during a dinner with U.S. ex-intelligence workers and activists in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013.

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of government documents to journalists last year, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize Wednesday.

The whistleblower’s name was put forward for the prize by two Norwegian politicians who said he made the world a safer place. Thousands of people worldwide are able to make nominations, including any government officials, previous laureates, professors, members of international courts or national assemblies.

“There is no doubt that the actions of Edward Snowden may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term,” wrote Bård Vegar Solhjell, a former environment and education minister for the Socialist Left Party, in a joint statement with fellow parliamenterian Snorre Valen. “We are, however, convinced that the public debate and change in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistle blowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”

(MORE: TIME Person of the Year 2013 Runner-Up: Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet)

Nominees are typically kept secret for five decades, but sometimes names are disclosed by eligible nominators. The Nobel Committee received a record 259 nominations for the 2013 Peace Prize; the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was named the winner in October.

This year’s winner will be announced on Oct. 10.