Snowden urges public debate on spying

In a new statement available to the public, Edward Snowden says that one of the clearest lessons to be taken from what the world has come to know about the reach of the national security state is that “surveillance of the public must be debated by the public.”

Though snubbed for TIME magazine ‘person-of-the-year’ honors this week, the NSA whistleblower remains the single individual who many regard as the hands-down most important individual when it comes to disrupting the national security state since it converged with the digital revolution in the aftermath of 9/11 and the onset of the so-called ‘global war on terror.’

At a Wednesday evening reception in Washington, DC, the thirty-year-old former surveillance contractor was honored by Foreign Policy magazine by being placed at the #1 spot on its annual list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers (interactive).

“Today we stand at the crossroads of policy, where parliaments and presidents on every continent are grappling with how to bring meaningful oversight to the darkest corners of our national security bureaucracies,” Snowden said in remarks prepared for the occasion. “The stakes are high. James Madison warned that our freedoms are most likely to be abridged by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power. I bet my life on the idea that together, in the light of day, we can find a better balance.”

According to Foreign Policy, Snowden was chosen for special note not just because he has become “the public face of an international debate over surveillance,” but because his actions have had enormous and verifiable international impact, including compelling “foreign governments targeted by US spying to seek a UN resolution about the rights of individuals to retain their privacy on the Internet.”

Still in Russia under temporary asylum protection, Snowden was unable to receive his honor in person, but his statement was delivered to the FP audience through an intermediate.

In fact, Jesselyn Radack, director of the Government Accountability Project’s national security & human rights project-who was also placed in the top ten of the FP Global Thinkers-delivered the remarks on Snowden’s behalf.

AHT/HJ

With permission
Source: Press TV