Monday, August 12, 2013

We Don't Have to Call Edward Snowden a Hero, but...

Edward_Snowden-2...he's been very good for the country and, by extension, the world. How? Check this out:
The Snowden effect, a definition:
Direct and indirect gains in public knowledge from the cascade of events and further reporting that followed Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified information about the surveillance state in the U.S.
Meaning: there’s what Snowden himself revealed by releasing secrets and talking to the press. But beyond this, there is what he set in motion by taking that action. Congress and other governments begin talking in public about things they had previously kept hidden. Companies have to explain some of their dealings with the state. Journalists who were not a party to the transaction with Snowden start digging and adding background. Debates spring to life that had been necessary but missing before the leaks. The result is that we know much more about the surveillance state than we did before. Some of the opacity around it lifts. This is the Snowden effect.
It is good for public knowledge. And public knowledge is supposed to be what a free press and open debate are all about.
Read the whole article. It exposes the hypocrisy of charging Snowden as a spy. There are two things to understand: one, that these programs never should have gotten so big and out of hand; and, two, because they did, Snowden's actions are clearly, if not purely, patriotic. Whatever else his motives were is irrelevant.

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