Digital Citizenship and Surveillance| Citizen Snowden

Engin Isin, Evelyn Ruppert


What kind of citizenship has Snowden performed? Apparently, it is not American citizenship because American authorities attempted to try him for treason and he became a stateless fugitive. After requesting political asylum in 21 countries, he was eventually granted temporary asylum in Russia. Neither states nor international organizations recognized his act as an act of citizenship. Did Snowden perform a citizenship that is yet to come? Did he perform an international citizenship? The issue of rights usually recognized in the literature on the debate about Snowden’s act concerns its content such as the practices of states spying on their citizens. This article focuses on the act itself as making digital rights claims that do not yet exist in law. We argue that just as Snowden’s act disrupted surveillance practices that evermore traverse national borders, it also called for digital rights and responsibilities that traverse national legal orders.


citizenship, performativity, international politics, digital rights

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