The prize, last awarded in 2011, was officially bestowed upon the 30-year-old at a ceremony in Berlin which took place Friday, prompting a nine-minute congratulatory video message from Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald on Saturday. “If I ran the committee, making the choice of who was to receive this award, it would take me probably one and a half seconds at most to have come to the conclusion that he is the only person deserving of the award this year,” said Greenwald, who published Snowden’s leaks, in the honorific speech released in response to the news. “He told me in good conscience that he could not sit by quietly and allow privacy and Internet freedom to be destroyed while doing nothing about it.” Here’s the 10-minute address I taped for the Berlin award ceremony where Snowden received 2013 Whistleblower Award http://t.co/fRKcdQRc6H — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 31, 2013 The organizers of the prize commended Snowden’s work, stating that he had uncovered “massive and unsuspecting monitoring and storage of communication data, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies.” The audience also heard a statement by Edward Snowden from Russia read out at the ceremony. “We should never forget the lessons of history when surveillance took the upper hand,” he said. “Not only did [German Chancellor Angela Merkel], it seems, allow the US to spy on Germany, but it seems she also helped the US to spy on Germany. So this is one of the reasons why Edward Snowden has received this award,” RT correspondent Peter Oliver said from the ceremony in Berlin. “He is being honored with this by a number of groups for his work in revealing what turns out to be the wide ranging spying activities of the NSA and the US.” The whistleblower award was first awarded in 1999 under the auspices of the Association of German Scientists and the German chapter of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA). Snowden is credited with releasing details of mass surveillance operations by US and British intelligence agencies through his prior connection with the NSA. It was revealed in June that for seven years, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been using PRISM, a warrantless web surveillance system with a near-limitless ability to spy on anyone’s phone calls, e-mails, video chats, search history and more, with major Internet giants Google, Apple and Facebook being complicit in the scheme.