US whistle-blower Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed America's worldwide espionage activities in May, has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Stefan Svallfors, professor of sociology at Umea University in Sweden, in an open letter to the Norwegian parliament, nominated the American whistleblower who revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance by the US government worldwide.

"By putting light on this monitoring program - conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements - Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer…. He has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms," said the academic.

Svallfors highlighted the 30-year-old Snowden's "heroic effort at the great personal expense" when he leaked US surveillance operations.

"This example is important because, since the Nuremberg trials in 1945, it has been clear that the slogan 'I was just following orders' is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms," said Svallfors.

Snowden leaked information on massive surveillance programs by the NSA, including a major program known as PRISM used for tracking the use of US-based web servers by Americans and other nationals.