The Snowden Archive launches


The official launch of the Snowden Archive, “Snowden Live: Canada and the Security State,” featuring a Q&A with Edward Snowden, takes place on Wednesday, March 4, at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The event is sold out, but will be live streamed on More event details at

About the Snowden Archive
The Snowden Archive is a complete collection of all documents that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked in June 2013 to journalists Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, and subsequently were published by news media, such as The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Der Speigel, Le Monde, El Mundo and The Intercept. The leaked documents and their coverage have raised significant public concerns and had a major impact upon intelligence policy debates internationally over issues of freedom of expression, privacy, national security and democratic governance more broadly.

The Archive also contains some documents that the U.S. Government has published which are helpful in understanding the leaked documents. The Archive does not contain any documents that have not already been published in other sources.

The approximately 400 documents currently in the Archive are a small fraction of the estimated 50,000 documents Snowden turned over. Most of these will likely not be published, but as new documents are published, they will be added to the Archive.

The aim in creating this archive was to provide a tool that would facilitate citizen and researcher access to these important documents. Indexes, document descriptions, links to original documents and to related news stories, glossary and comprehensive search features are all designed to enable a better understanding of state surveillance programs, within the wider context of surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) along with its partners in the Five Eyes countries – U.K., Canada. Australia and New Zealand.

The hope is that this resource will contribute to greater appreciation of the broad scope, intimate reach and profound implications of the global surveillance infrastructures and practices that Edward Snowden’s historic document leak reveals.

Who built the Snowden Archive?

The Archive was designed and built by George Raine, a graduate of this Faculty’s Master of Information program, with the assistance of Jillian Harkness, currently a student in this program.

Important note:
The descriptions contained in this archive are the work of interested amateurs in the area of state intelligence, without detailed insight into the legal and technological issues that the documents describe. If readers identify any potential inaccuracies, they are encouraged to contact the curators, who will endeavor to improve the collection.

The curators of the Archive have no special access to documents that are not already in the public domain. Redactions that occur in the documents have been performed either by government classifiers, or by the media outlets that first published the documents.

Project Partners
• Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
• The Politics of Surveillance Project in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, led by Prof. Andrew Clement, is a sub-project of The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting project, based at Queens University, led by Prof. David Lyon.

• Surveillance Studies Centre, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Queens University
• Digital Curation Institute, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
• Centre for Freedom of Expression, Faculty of Communications and Design, Ryerson University



Original press release: