Snowden’s father praises son in open letter

Edward Snowden revealed the US has been snooping on Internet users

The father of U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, frustrated by his inability to reach out directly to his son, wrote him an open letter on Tuesday praising him for “summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny.”

The letter was signed by Lon Snowden and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, who also reported receiving a phone call from WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange.

The letter comes a day after Edward Snowden issued a statement through WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website, criticizing the Obama administration for leaving him “stateless” and revoking his passport. Snowden is in Russia and has been seeking asylum in multiple countries. He has not been seen publicly in more than a week after arriving at a Russian airport from Hong Kong, where he had been in hiding.

The disclosures by the former national Security Agency systems analyst of U.S. government surveillance programs have restarted a national debate over security and privacy.

And in a phone interview Tuesday, Fein said he received a call Saturday from Assange, who purported to deliver a message from son to father asking that elder Snowden keep quiet.

The call came after Lon Snowden told NBC that his son had technically broken the law but was not a traitor and was motivated by legitimate concerns about the surveillance programs. He also expressed frustration that WikiLeaks may not be giving his son the best advice. The organization has been helping Snowden apply for asylum in a variety of countries including Venezuela, Bolivia and 18 other countries, according to WikiLeaks,

Fein said he is continuing to work to establish a direct link between father and son that does not require WikiLeaks as an intermediary.