Edward Snowden & the Apathy of the United States

Its been almost a week since Snowden revealed himself to be the source of the NSA leaks. Newspaper outlets such as the Guardian, have referred to Snowden as a whistleblower, this term has been created by the law officials to ensure that any person found to have leaked information, not only gets smeared, but gets prosecuted.

Julian Assange and Bradley Manning have both shown the size of the government smear campaigns. Edward Snowden will not be a stranger to them this week. But the NSA have now found themselves facing criticicms from all angles, and many believe they should be.

John Mueller, a guest on the Chronicle of Higher Education, remarked that the NSA secrecy was not to protect people from terrorism, but to protect government from opposition. It almost seems too good to be true that users of the program and the software that the NSA are building/have used won’;t be misused. But it also seems that the objective of such a project, is giving the feel of imprisonment, not release. 

The problem that the NSA and the government have in clogging the hole in these leaks, is that this affects everyone. Liberties, freedom, rights, priviledges, whatever you want to call them, whatever you think they are, this database, this method of protection, of security, it affects all the internet citizens of the globe. 

When quizzed on Data snooping, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, Wiliam Hague, simply brushed off the fears of GCHQ gathering intelligence and said “law abiding citizens have nothing to fear.” This may come as hugely unattractive to those that remember when governments put homosexuals in prison or segregate races. The law makers can easily say law abiding citzens have nothing to fear if they are making the laws. 

Some have considered these acts as espionage, against the public will. In many ways it is like being told “if you truly have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’;t object to wearing an ankle bracelet”, as your government watch your every move. And many are unmoved by this concept, they may believe that the government is doing the right thing, but the truth is probably closer to the idea that they do not care or that they are illinformed. They do not care because they truly think its not directly affecting their lives.  

Apathy is the biggest problem America will face politically. Apathy is caused by both the lack of education and a consumerism that aims to take advantage and perpetuate the Apathy.