Whistleblower or security threat?
The link between the Edward Snowden story and the theme of this blog is somewhere between tenuous and non-existent. However, I am really fed up with anyone who is passionate about the issue of environmental sustainability being labelled “anti-Capitalist” – and I am equally fed up with whistleblowers being labelled as security threats.
Is Edward Snowden a whistleblower or an international security threat? If you are undecided, please read this message from Avaaz:
This 29 year-old analyst just gave up his whole life — his girlfriend, his job, and his home — to blow the whistle on the US government’s shocking PRISM program — which has been reading and recording our emails, Skype messages, Facebook posts and phone calls for years.
When Bradley Manning passed this kind of data to Wikileaks, the US threw him naked into solitary confinement in conditions that the UN called “cruel, inhumane and degrading”.
The authorities and press are deciding right now how to handle this scandal. If millions of us stand with Edward in the next 48 hours, it will send a powerful statement that he should be treated like the brave whistleblower that he is, and it should be PRISM, and not Edward, that the US cracks down on:
PRISM is profoundly disturbing: it gives the US government unlimited access to all of our personal email and social media accounts on Google, Youtube, Facebook, Skype, Hotmail, Yahoo! and much more. They’re recording billions of our messages every month and the CIA can now or in the future use the information to prosecute, persecute, or blackmail us, our friends or our families!
Edward was horrified by this unprecedented violation of individual privacy. So he copied large amounts of files, sent them to the Guardian newspaper for publication and escaped to Hong Kong. His bravery not only exposed PRISM, but has started a domino effect around the world, shining a light on secret spy programs in Canada, the UK and Australia in just days! Now he’s trapped in Hong Kong, waiting to be arrested. A global outcry could save him from extradition to the US, and encourage other countries to grant him asylum.
We can’t let the US do to Edward what they did to Bradley Manning. Let’s urgently stand with him, and against PRISM:
Sometimes the things our governments do are simply breathtaking. When heroic individuals like Edward have risked their own freedoms to bring scandals of this scale into light, the Avaaz community has come together to demand fair treatment — and won. When half a million of us joined with other organizations and activists calling on the US government to stop its cruel treatment of Bradley Manning, he was relocated to a medium-security prison and taken out of solitary confinement. If we act quickly, we might do better for Edward, and help him win the fight he’s bravely taken on, for all our sakes.
With hope and determination,
Ricken, Emma, Oli, Mia, Allison, Ari, Dalia, Laura and the whole Avaaz team
PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=25795
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations (The Guardian)
Edward Snowden Contact Glenn Greenwald Should Be ‘Disappeared’, Security Officials ‘Overheard Saying’ (Huffington Post)
NSA PRISM program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others (The Guardian)
Prism scandal: Government program secretly probes Internet servers (Chicago Tribune)
PRISM by the Numbers: A Guide to the Government’s Secret Internet Data-Mining Program (TIME)
Anger swells after NSA phone records court order revelations (The Guardian)
Data-collection program got green light from MacKay in 2011 (Globe and Mail)
Greens unveil plan to require warrant to access phone and internet records (The Guardian)