Edward Snowden’s gift

By , July 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Reading the news these past few weeks, I found myself frequently angry  at our government – all three branches – over the massive domestic surveillance program described in documents leaked by former Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden. But when I wasn’t dealing with the negative emotions about our government, I found myself somewhat awed by the gift Edward Snowden has given us all – Americans and EU citizens alike – at enormous personal risk to himself.  He has been willing to give up his future and freedom to give us the gift of sunshine.

As more files are released by The Guardian and Washington Post, the light will only get brighter.  But with that gift comes an enormous responsibility on the recipients.  It is up to us – each of us – to ensure that this doesn’t all get swept under rugs or whitewashed.  It’s up to us to ensure that Congress stops certain practices and restores the Fourth Amendment rights that have been trampled on by a government exploiting Third Party Doctrine while issuing alarmist Chicken Little proclamations about “national security.”

It is up to each and every one of us to speak up and take action to make our country a better place – a place that respects the right to privacy and where we, the people, are not viewed through the lens of terrorism.

How many of us would be willing to give up our freedom for the next four or five decades to expose how our government was misleading us and monitoring us?

Over 40 years ago, a young man named Bruce Mayrock set himself on fire outside the U.N. to raise awareness about the plight of Biafran children. He died hours later. Some said at the time that his sacrifice was a total waste and made no sense. After all, Mayrock had never traveled to Biafra and had no real connection to any Biafrans.  His suicide got some local attention, but did not change the course of history.

On some level, Edward Snowden has set himself on fire.  He has sacrificed himself to make this world a better place. It is up to us to ensure that his sacrifice will not be in vain.

 

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