by Phil Coleman
EDWARD SNOWDEN: America’s Whistleblower – Sinner or Saint?
The revelation that Government organisations were spying on their own citizens, and those from other countries, shocked the world. That this was probably legal, was even more astonishing.
In particular, the American NSA and British GCHQ, were intercepting communications – emails, phone calls, chat rooms, even normal internet usage – and monitoring them.
Not just the communications of those suspected of crime, or terrorists, but those of every single citizen. They had been doing it for years.
The revelations came about because of one man. A young American with a great future came across the details of the Governments’ actions, and decided to act.
Fearing for his freedom, even his life, he set up an elaborate programme of meetings with three trusted journalists.
These were reporters he knew would take him seriously, and would not be cowed by the enormity of what he had discovered.
With thousands of pieces of evidence, bordering on millions, this man revealed what he knew.
Until 2013 completely unknown, but now one of the most notorious men on the planet.
He is viewed by some as a hero, a liberator, a spokesman for the people. A great patriot, who placed his nation above the petty interests of politicians seeking to create a platform for their own glory. Regarded by many as heroic, brave, somebody prepared to stand up for what he believed.
By others as a traitor. A man who, through his actions, risked the lives of people all round the world. A man who made it easier for terrorists to operate, for criminals to exist. Whatever your view, it cannot be doubted that Edward Snowden, with his four laptops in tow, changed the world when, in 2013, he revealed his findings.
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