Monday, June 08, 2015

Edward Snowden: 21st Century Hero?

In the two years since Snowden first gained notoriety by releasing huge volumes of information about the National Security Agency's data-gathering techniques, I've had this creeping feeling that he may just become one of this century's most important heroic figures.  I've seen a couple of interviews with him, read a few articles about him, and now there's the New York Times op-ed that he penned last week... and everything I 've learned about Snowden makes me believe that he did was he did for the noblest of reasons.  It's hard to imagine any way in which he's benefitted by his actions, although I suppose for some, gaining celebrity would be justification enough.  I don't get that vibe off him, though.  As he says in the NYT article, he put his privileged lifestyle at risk and wasn't even confident that anything worthwhile would come of the risk he took.  I think it's possible that 20 years from now we'll look back at the revelations he provided into what the US government (and others) have been doing in the 21st century and realize just how critical it was that all of that spying came to light when it did.

I guess only time will tell how history will remember the man, but my money's on 'hero,' rather than 'villain.'

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