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Two years ago today, Snowden changed the world’s view of surveillance

Edward Snowden
Photo credit: UK’s Guardian

Two tears ago today, June 5, 2013, UK’s Guardian published their first exclusive story about the leak of Edward Snowden, detailing a secret court order showing that the US government had forced Verizon telecom to hand over the phone records of millions of Americans.
In the news today:

– “Snowden: balance of power has shifted as people defy government surveillance”
“Whistleblower says ‘profound difference’ has occurred over past two years after leaking of NSA documents as public demands privacy”

“A ‘profound difference’ has occurred over the past two years, following the leaking of NSA documents that led to revelations about US surveillance on phone and internet communications, whistleblower Edward Snowden has said.

Writing in the New York Times, the computer analyst said that the balance of power is changing as a post-terror generation “turns away from reaction and fear in favour of resilience and reason”.

Snowden said that bulk data collection programmes had been declared illegal and disavowed by the US Congress,” quoting UK’s Guardian.
Read more

– “Edward Snowden: The World Says No to Surveillance”
JUNE 4, 2015
TWO years ago today, three journalists and I worked nervously in a Hong Kong hotel room, waiting to see how the world would react to the revelation that the National Security Agency had been making records of nearly every phone call in the United States. In the days that followed, those journalists and others published documents revealing that democratic governments had been monitoring the private activities of ordinary citizens who had done nothing wrong.

Within days, the United States government responded by bringing charges against me under World War I-era espionage laws. The journalists were advised by lawyers that they risked arrest or subpoena if they returned to the United States. Politicians raced to condemn our efforts as un-American, even treasonous.

Privately, there were moments when I worried that we might have put our privileged lives at risk for nothing — that the public would react with indifference, or practiced cynicism, to the revelations.

Never have I been so grateful to have been so wrong.”
Read more published in The New York Times.

Editor’s note:
When I think of those people that we consider heroes, they are always the men and women who challenged the staus quo and dared to think and act out of the box, risking it all to take a stand for their principles, people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and locally, JZ Knight and Billy Frank, Jr.
These folks, among so many others, have been honored and recognized for their courage, resolve, persistence and commitment to evolving the human spirit.
Today, I add Edward Snowden to this list of heroes, for one day, he too, will be recognized from a future place in looking back at this age, for his qualities making a sea-change in to the status quo.

Have you ever thought about heroes?
Human societies are very fickle, resistant to change, however change they do,
though usually at a snail’s pace. Yet, we’ve witnessed that speeding-up.

Most of our world’s true heroes were decried in their time or worst, as example:
– Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 and 25 years later, the charges were dropped and she was beautified and canonized in the early 1900’s,

– Galileo was jailed by the Church for heresy in 1632 and remained there until his death in 1641 saying the Sun was the center of the then-known universe, and only 350 years later did the Catholic Church admit their errors in judging Galileo’s scientific postulates,

– While the Church has not yet admitted their error for what they did to Giordano Bruno, who lived prior to Galileo, his theory that stars were distant suns & the universe is infinite has been found as true by science,

– Locally, Billy Frank, Jr. was arrested more than 50 times in the 1960s & 1970s because of his intense dedication that the Native American fishing rights treaty with the U. S. be upheld, finally winning in court in 1974,

– JZ Knight has been considered everything from a fraud to the Anti-Christ, yet as she approaches age 70, remains a key leader in the “spiritual” movement born out of the anti-establishment rebellion of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and because of her contributions to the human spirit as the channel for almost 40 years of Ramtha the Enlightened One, is on my list of heroes.

Heroes all stood up to say “the Emperor Wears No Clothes” to a society who, at the time, did not want to see.
Not until the emotions of the day subsided and 20/20 hindsight vision prevailed in looking at the significance of our true heroes’ stands, are their contributions to mankind seen.

Few outside of the Black community truly saw Martin Luther King, Jr. for his vision, yet here we are today with a Washington, D. C. memorial and a movie, “Selma,” that heralds his work.
Hopefully, the world can see true heroes in our midst today, like Edward Snowden, rather than celebrate them after they are long gone.

In every revolution, there is one person with a vision!
Our heroes embody that and are in front of us everyday, if only we have eyes to see.

Posted by Steve on June 5, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

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