Outspoken director OLIVER STONE has hailed fugitive whistleblower EDWARD SNOWDEN as a hero, and urged leaders of foreign countries to offer him asylum.
The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worker has been on the run ever since he confessed to leaking confidential information on mass surveillance operations undertaken by the U.S. and U.K. governments on their own citizens.
He is currently in hiding in Russia after applying for asylum in 21 countries. The net is starting to close on Snowden after 12 governments rejected his application, and on Monday (01Jul13), he withdrew his bid to stay in Russia after President Vladimir Putin insisted he would have to stop leaking top secret documents if he was to be granted leave to remain.
However, he has the support of his fellow American Stone, who insists U.S. officials are at fault for spying on their own people.
Speaking to reporters at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, he said, "It's a disgrace that (U.S. President Barack) Obama is more concerned with hunting down Snowden than reforming these George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques.
"To me, Snowden is a hero, because he revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment.
"He should be welcomed, and offered asylum, but he has no place to hide because every country is intimidated by the United States."
If arrested, Snowden faces espionage charges in the U.S.
Snowden is not the first famous whistleblower Stone has backed - he met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in April (13) at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he his holed up as he battles extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.