In possible proof that scientists are indeed human, complete with political views, researchers have named a new species of crayfish after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

No, the Indonesian species has nothing to do with computers, surveillance or national secrets; in fact, its only claim to fame is as a popular pet in the West, going by the common name of "orange tip" or "green orange tip" crayfish.

The freshwater crayfish from the West Papau region of Indonesia has long been collected in large numbers for the ornamental fish global market, and is also a food source for local inhabitants.

German researcher Christian Lukhaup and two of his colleagues – after determining the crayfish had for some time been misidentified as a similar-looking species – gave it a new name, Cherax Snowden.

When it came time to explain their choice of the name, in their study appearing in the journal ZooKeys, they didn't beat around the bush.

"The new species is named after the American freedom fighter Edward Joseph Snowden," they wrote. "He is honored due to his extraordinary achievements in defense of justice, and freedom."

In 2013, Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, leaked documents that revealed the extent of the agency's surveillance programs.

Snowden fled the U.S., and is currently living in Moscow.

In his own country, he is a controversial figure, seen as either a hero revealing truths about an assault on citizen rights or a villain who has put the security of the nation at risk.

In Germany, however, he enjoys wide support – including, evidently, from crayfish-naming researchers.

Under International Code of Zoological Nomenclature guidelines, researchers who describe a species new to science have free reign when it comes to choosing a name.

The newly-identified species could be at risk given its ongoing popularity as a colorful aquarium pet, the researchers note.

"According to local collectors, the populations of the species have been decreasing in the last few years," they report in their study.

Collecting them for the aquarium is not a sustainable practice, they warn, and if the popularity of the species continues, they may need a conservation management plan to help it survive.

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