Amidst the doom, gloom and despondency that seems to fill a large part of the news media’s daily output, it is occasionally reassuring to see some glimmer of hope for a positive future. I was delighted to see that Time magazine has included Edward Snowden among its ‘Pioneers’ in its latest list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People. Also on the list is Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey – though sad to say, not Julian Assange, whom the world seems to have forgotten about. I assume he is still holed out in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Time magazine and Rafael Correa – brothers-in-arms in the fight for freedom!?
By Daniel Domscheit-Berg
The renegade in exile
Edward Snowden’s story is one of choices. He is said to be a computer genius, but he has chosen to do what is right rather than what will enrich him, and he has chosen to do what is right rather than what is lawful. Showing a sense of great responsibility, he has exposed a global system of surveillance whose sheer dimensions are unfathomable.
This system threatens the very foundation of individual freedom throughout the world. And it threatens the basis upon which our democracies are built. Cynically, it does so by undermining and exploiting the very tools of communication and sharing that are meant to enable, engage and enrich us.
Snowden has given us a window of opportunity in which to make an informed, self-determined choice about this system. Our responsibility is to make sure it will not be the last choice we make. We must not waste time—for his sake, for ours and for the sake of our children. Our future is at stake.
(Domscheit-Berg, a German technology activist, is a former spokesman for WikiLeaks)