A few hours ago, the whistle blower, Edward Snowden addressed his followers and silenced his critics once again via a live interview with ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian. It has been so long since we last heard from Snowden. Seeing him being the brave and the bold, ignited the fire again – giving motivation to fight for what is rightfully ours – privacy and online freedom.
The theme of the debate was more or less the same; however, there were a few enlightenments and illustrations that must not be ignored. The whistle blower is at it again, revealing the deep dark secrets of the NSA and its affiliates. In many addresses, the government officials stated that the core purpose behind online surveillance and vigilance is to serve the national security interest. Nevertheless, Snowden disagrees.
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The whistle blower says that the activities referring to online surveillance and mass data collection aren’t effective to prohibit cyber-attacks or serve the national security interest; in fact, these are the actions that make the nation vulnerable and deprived of basic privacy rights.
If you missed the revealing live session with the whistleblower, it’s never too late. You can watch it all here, uncut and uncensored.
One of the questions raised in the debate was: why is the NSA targeting technology and telecom companies – hacking them for their users’ data. In addition, it was also revealed that the NSA is manufacturing vulnerabilities with respect to our security. This isn’t something that we don’t know of. Remember the NSA-RSA deal not too long ago? NSA offered USD $10 Million to RSA to flaw the security products it manufactures. Without a doubt, the allegation was enlightened by Snowden’s revelations.
Lately, Snowden has come up with yet another allegation. However, this time it isn’t about a tech giant or a multinational allegedly working with the NSA. Snowden during his live session declared two names: General Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden. The whistleblower said that aforementioned personnel are the NSA’s former directors who have caused substantial damage to the national security in name of protecting national security interests.
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General Keith Alexander disagrees though. As a matter of fact, Alexander perceives Snowden as culpable for the catastrophic after-effects of the revelations. Alexander believes that Snowden has caused grave damage to the country and its allies. The leak has caused irreversible damage and affected the NSA’s endeavors to safeguard the US citizens’ security, Alexander continued.
Snowden’s views however contradict this argument. Snowden asserted that agencies like the NSA are more prone to offense than defense. Influencing telecom and tech companies for user data can’t be justified as an act to promote national security but deprivation of privacy rights.
The critics say that I went against constitution – that my actions reflect treason. On the contrary, it is the NSA that violates constitutional rights of US citizens, Snowden said. Online surveillance and collection of Meta Data is death of privacy.
Snowden’s revelation is one of the most controversial concerns we have acknowledged. Either Snowden is a hero or a traitor is yet to decide. Irrespective of the conclusion to be drawn, as I see it, Snowden’s revelations raised awareness about the significance of privacy and online freedom; and the revelations were just a wakeup call we all needed.
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