The Sam Adams Award is given annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, a group of retired CIA officers, to intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics.
This address was poorly-filmed and-lit by the Oxford Union, which often hosts the Sam Adams Awards ceremonies.
In his address, Snowden is basically lauding Chelsea Manning for her statements about the growing trend of "over-classification" of information and documents. Indeed, many of the diplomatic cables released by Manning had "Secret" clearances (the lowest level of classification), which were largely unwarranted.
Snowden also points out that this trend of over-classification in not simply endemic to the US - but that other governments, such as that of Australia - have absurdly classified things like the price of shrimp and other commodities from Indonesia, as a matter of
Snowden's concluding statements here, in his comments about Chelsea Manning's humanitarian contributions, meriting her receipt of the Sam Adams Award are:
"The distinguishing strength of a democracy is self-correction; that no matter bad things get, the public, in partnership with a free press, can detect and correct mistakes of policy...by well-intentioned but misguided officials. It is this self-correcting, self-determining part of an unapologetically American form of government, in which Chelsea Manning so valuably participated.
Snowden, who received this same award last year is considered a fugitive by American authorities, who in June 2013 charged him with Espionage and Theft of Government Property.
He lives in an undisclosed location in Russia and, according to German politician, Hans-Christian Stroebele, continues to seek permanent asylum "in a 'democratic' country" such as Germany or France.