Monday, January 6, 2014
Is NSA whistleblower Eric Snowden a traitor, a hero or none of the above?
Granted, we understand the world can be very hostile and dangerous, hence, our government uses various covert activities in the name of National Security.
However, the disclosed activities of the NSA are downright disturbing and excessive, to say the least. Listening to cell phone conversations of our allies and spying on them seems to be a giant overreach -- not to mention spying and collecting massive data on American citizens.
Only on the surface.
But, truth be told, our allies return the favor. You can bet your bottom dollar, they spy on us as well -- case in point, even Israel actively spies on their biggest ally in the world, the USA. As the New York Post stated:
I have a word of advice for American allies outraged by alleged NSA spying on their leaders: Grow up. That means you, Germany. You too, France. And you, Brazil. Mexico, too. Also the EU and the UN.
Does the National Security Agency spy on your leaders? Probably. Do you spy on leaders of allied states including the United States? Probably. You just don’t have the resources or capability to spy as effectively as the NSA does. But if you did, you would. source
In a world in which global terrorisms has long, extremely dangerous arms; with a world economy vulnerable to cyber sabotage: in this climate, intelligence gathering is essential.
I got that.
The issue: Are there sufficient checks and balances on NSA spying in order to protect American privacy? Just think about NSA installed computer spyware that can invade the privacy of our personal computers -- watching our most sacred and private interactions. Don't you ever wonder what the heck is being downloaded into your computer during the periodic online system updates?
Sounds creepy on an Orwellian level: Big brother watching us!
Back to Eric Snowden: hero or foe.
His actions muddy the waters. In his rants railing against NSA surveillance he embraces two states noted to be far worse offenders of snooping on their citizens: China and Russia. What was his motivation? Maybe, the enemy of my enemy is my friends? Did he project these states were too big to be bullied into extradition by the US? Does he think Russia and China represent the epitome of transparent governance?
Hero or foe: I don't know. But he sure is an USA embarrassment!