Imagine a day where cameras are everywhere and someone is watching you. You can always be tracked, identified and pursued in the name of justice. Everything is regulated, processed and managed by an overarching power that dictates the day to day activities of your life. George Orwell's famous Sci-Fi thriller 1984 serves as a great example of what technological capabilities can do for tyrannical government power. As technology advances so does the government's will to use it in order to preserve power.
There are checks and balances in the U.S. government to prevent tyranny and rights violations against individuals. But what happens when those checks and balances fail? What if we allowed our rights to be taken in the name of our own security? What if all of these things were happening right now and worst of all, you never even knew about it? Could a string of legal actions restricting individual freedom in the name of national security lead to the emergence of a tyrannical American government? If you were to deny the possibility you would also be denying the fact that "tyranny" has been the most widely used form of government and social control since the dawn of human civilization. Before you make your final judgements about Edward Snowden, the former CIA and NSA computer specialist accused of espionage and theft of government property; you must first ask yourself what's more important to you, the preservation of your individual rights and freedoms or the preservation of your safety. Freedom is never free, and Edward Snowden is paying a high price to protect ours. Snowden's release of National Security material is arguably the most significant data leak in American history. He exposed American and British surveillance programs that were clearly in violation of many U.S. and international privacy protection laws. The U.S. claims that Edward Snowden did "grave damage" to U.S. intelligence efforts and National Security by leaking the documents and they intend to prosecute Mr. Snowden for his "criminal activities." As a result Snowden is on the run. He first sought asylum in Hong Kong and has since relocated to Russia. His actions have generated a great amount of controversy with some calling him a hero and patriot, while others condemn him as a dissident and traitor. Snowden himself claims that he leaked the documents in order "to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them." Edward Snowden's life and freedom has been put at risk, this was done at his own choosing, and whether you agree with his methods or not the fact remains that he's provided a significant check on government power when all other safeguards failed.
As technology advances, so does the capability of human power. The preservation of individual freedom is more important now than it ever has been as the tools that can dismantle it have progressed incredibly. We must use the strongest defense that we have, the same defense that Snowden used, and that is the ability to share information with one another on a global scale. With that in mind, I'd like to share some information with you that was left to us by our most famous Founding Father Benjamin Franklin: "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." Edward Snowden has made an incredible sacrifice to prevent government abuse of our inalienable right to privacy. He deserves our support and respect as a defender of liberty. Wherever you are Mr. Snowden, we thank you and wish you well. One people, one future, one love.