Why We Must Discuss Edward Snowden: Whistleblower or Victim

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“ I can’t allow the US government to destroy privacy and basic liberties,” said the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, in an exclusive interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras of The Guardian. The term “whistleblower” says it all. There is a very strong reason why the former NSA contractor is being called one. He has done what a whistleblower essentially does. He has made the world sit up and take notice of what happens when a powerful nation such as the United States of America thwarts all notions of acquired privacy in a world where privacy is as it is much abused. We have to understand that in a world where technology is reinventing itself at every step, privacy has more or less become a matter of assuring oneself that others can’t see you if you can’t or don’t see them. In such a scenario the US has gone all out and belied even the most vague ideas that we today hold about privacy.

You would think that a nation as technologically advanced as the US would practise more discretion when it comes to dealing with such issues on a global level, but once again they have only proved that they have acted almost imperially, some would say, in this regard. But the key issue remains that the information leaked by Edward Snowden and what it has brought to light is being dealt in a manner that makes many of us think that he might have gone a step too far. It is now being taken as a matter of national security, privacy and safety of those very citizens and nations who have been subjected to a most undemocratic behaviour by the government of the United States, behaviour that the US as a nation does not advocate on paper. Nowhere is it being discussed as a matter that has been put to light by a whistleblower in the sense that he has brought to our attention an embarrassing amount of snooping by the US which is completely off the record and has been carried out in a manner that defies all democratic rights and ideals. In a way we can say that our whistleblower friend has rather opened our eyes to look at the situation from a point of view that tells us that the US being one of the largest democracies in the world has actually failed to uphold that on which it was built. It has not only jeopardised friendly relations with nations who have been victims but it has also lessened the nation’s credibility in front of its citizens’ eyes to which Snowden says, “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things.”

To this we must agree and believe that Snowden has not only brought to light classified information which can harm his country’s interests but also acted as a responsible citizen who believes in his nation’s ideals of democracy and liberty and is a Messiah of the modern world who has given the rest of the world a reason to question and add a voice.

Image Credit: http://www.guardian.co.uk

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