11
Jun
13

6.11.13 … Edward Snowden: Hero or bad boyfriend? Icon or a villain? … Hoovering up! …

Edward Snowden, icon, hero: Hero or Bad Boyfriend?  Who else has wondered about the poor girlfriend?

Edward Snowden, leaker of the NSA surveillance programs, is a hero. No, he’s a narcissistic criminal. Scratch that, he’s totally a hero. Far from it: he’s an alienated loner, a traitor, a bad boyfriend. But also? A smokin’ hottie! Barely a day after Snowden revealed himself as the source who gave information to the Guardian about phone and Internet data collection, the debate over privacy and security was joined by a debate whether Snowden was an icon or a villain.It’s ironic, but shouldn’t be surprising, that a news story about personal privacy in the digital age should become a personality-based argument. We’ve seen this with other secrecy and leaking cases—Julian Assange, Bradley Manning—as critics of the leak begin attacking the messenger and defenders elevate said messenger as a way of counter-attacking. A major public issue becomes another celebrity story, like a Hollywood divorce. The person becomes a proxy for the cause; to admit any flaws on the one hand or nobility on the other is to give comfort to the enemy, and so he becomes sainted or demonized, depending whose blog you’re reading.Why should anyone not personally connected with Edward Snowden give a crap how good a person he is? To some extent, the argument over whether he’s a hero or traitor is an argument about the privacy issue itself; if the NSA program is unconscionable, then he must be a hero of conscience, e.g.But in the end, these arguments are stand-ins for the actual issues; they’re not the issues themselves. A Snowden or Assange could be a not-so-great person advocating a worthy position, or vice versa. It’s also possible to argue, say, to condemn the government Hoovering up phone records yet question whether people with access to state secrets should be able to declassify them unilaterally. Or it should be, anyway. Dividing the debate between Team Snowden and Team NSA, though, crowds out the room for the arguments in between both poles.

via Hero or Bad Boyfriend? Edward Snowden and the Personalization of Public Debate | TIME.com.

vocabulary, “Hoovering up”: I think this term may have a double meaning.  Besides the obvious related to the vacuum cleaner, there could be the  illegal gathering of info outside  the legal parameters as was common by the famous FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover. 🙂

It’s also possible to argue, say, to condemn the government Hoovering up phone records yet question whether people with access to state secrets should be able to declassify them unilaterally.

via Hero or Bad Boyfriend? Edward Snowden and the Personalization of Public Debate | TIME.com.


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