Snowden revisited: From traitor to prophet of privacy in our digital dystopia

When Edward Snowden asked for amnesty for his crimes in 2016, I opposed it.Sorry, me I have written“It would be another humiliation for America and another victory for those who believe they can defeat us because we are so foolishly adept at defeating ourselves. I argued that whatever good Snowden accomplished in terms of freedom of speech, he did more harm than good. “As tough as it is to accept, without Snowden and without the truths he exposed, America would be stronger, safer, and the road ahead less dangerous and uncertain. .”

At the end of the Obama era, the verdict of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence felt decisive.

Snowden has caused tremendous damage to national security, and the majority of the documents he has stolen have nothing to do with programs that affect individual privacy interests. Rather, they relate to military, defense, and intelligence programs of great interest to America’s adversaries.

I’m not here to deny my opinion at the time. But I’m here to add to them.

The digital dystopian government I saw during the Trump administration, and what many are seeing now that it is fully entrenched in Washington, echoes the seemingly unpatriotic scenario Snowden himself envisioned. They look very similar. It was a form of deception to disguise Snowden’s revelations as irrelevant to the public interest and imported only to the US military-intelligence complex and its foreign adversaries. – Based on the instantly invalidated assumption that our government would never reorient its military and intelligence capabilities against the American people for reasons of ideology, not national security.

Evidence of this criminalist ideological shift is that the biggest difference between who took Snowden’s warnings seriously under the Obama administration and who will now take them seriously under the Biden administration is which party they are from. The question is whether it belongs to the . At the time, Snowden’s cry resonated with the left. Since then, the left has been thoroughly tamed by the Biden administration’s deep state digital dystopia. Now, Snowden’s warning finds only a hearing on the right. Not only is there still enough generosity on the right to willingly tolerate what the regime denies, but the right has no choice. The right is far more of an enemy of the regime than Hamas, to take a random example. .

The successive collapses of the January 6th narrative concocted, produced, distributed, and forced by the regime demonstrate what almost everyone knows deep down: there was no such thing as an “insurrection.” clearly shown. Trump supporters are not a threat to national security. The persecution of political rights under the cover of “domestic extremism” is a total violation of our fundamental rights.What those who voted for President Trump and online dissident voices have to offer no National security justifies indefinitely suspending our constitutional government in favor of a regime of closed surveillance and censorship, much less running it on the basis of woke public trust as in this case. does not justify it.

So today, when we see Snowden’s post about X causing unprecedented alarm, it’s not un-American to take it seriously. In fact, the un-American choice, he said, is to ignore the fact that: put it down“We’re days away from the NSA taking over the Internet.” Because this time, Snowden didn’t just press the panic button.

To the credit of the Brennan Center for Justice, a long-time left-wing organization, Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of Freedom and National Security, has emphasized the seriousness of the threat posed by Washington’s recent power grab. I’m explaining. Although this is conceptually an act of Congress, it is driven by deep psychology. Staters cannot vote for or against.

“With a seemingly innocuous change to the definition of ‘electronic communications surveillance provider,’ the House-passed amendment proposed by House Intelligence Committee leaders would significantly expand the scope of entities that can compel support to the NSA. “That’s the case,” Goitein said. report. “If this bill becomes law, any company or individual that provides any service will be required to protect the equipment (routers, servers, cell phone towers, etc.) on which communications are transmitted or stored.”

Does anyone think the American experiment could survive much longer under these conditions?

Sadly, we are in this predicament for reasons deeper than the malign intentions of barbaric ideologues. We cannot simply blame today’s crisis on lunatics on campuses or Marxists parading through institutions. As I explained in my 2021 book, Human Forever, the root cause is that the dominance of digital technology calls into question the legitimacy of all governments, including those of the world’s most powerful digital powers. is.

This is because the nature of the social compact is undergoing a revolutionary change, requiring the consent of the people for any form of government to function. The problem is simple. On what basis are today’s ruling elites proposing to exercise digitally enhanced sovereignty over their states? Man or machine? In China, India, Israel, Russia, Europe, the United Kingdom, and here in the United States, governments are scrambling to come up with answers strong enough to win full public buy-in.

Only one of the world’s top digital powers has a Bill of Rights. And, arguably, our Bill of Rights makes re-establishing sovereignty in the digital age even more difficult. Because here we need to trust our government to access and use incredibly powerful digital technologies to preserve our constitutional system. We also need to trust each other.

Our enemies want to undermine or destroy that trust. It’s easy to believe that we don’t have the time or capacity to take on the “extra” work of building and maintaining that trust.

That trust cannot be faked. It cannot be simulated or stimulated into existence. It cannot be programmed or automated. You can’t find it on the free market, buy it on online marketplaces, or fake it through the comfort of your television. It can’t be taught in universities and you can’t learn it from the best books. The trust we need can only be gained through lived spiritual experience. Neither whistleblowers nor the military nor the Constitution can save us if we refuse to accept the risks of that difficult process.