We’re going to be learning a lot more about Edward Snowden over the next few days, and he and his actions will be mightily debated. Traitor or patriot? Benedict Arnold or Daniel Ellsberg? In the end, I think, he’ll be thought an American hero.
Snowden is the 29-year-old analyst who last week unveiled the existence of a surveillance program — code-named PRISM — run by the National Security Agency, the nation’s top-secret spy shop. PRISM allegedly has the ability to comb through almost every digital or electronic communication we make, whether it be by telephone, e-mail, Skype, Twitter, or other social media. It’s the kind of stuff featured in novels, movies, and TV, but stuff that we knew — of course — was just fiction. The ravings of paranoiacs and conspiracists aside, our government really wouldn’t do that — nor, we thought, could it.