In all the hubbub surrounding the federal government’s most recent scandal, I’ve noticed that the people who are angriest at Edward Snowden for leaking federal secrets are generally the most supportive of the NSA’s spying policies. This strikes me as interesting, because it seems to me those positions are a little contradictory. Therefore, I have two questions for these people:
- You argue that if I have no wrongdoing to conceal from the government, I have nothing to fear from the government spying on my behavior. So let’s use this logic in reverse. If the federal government has no wrongdoing to conceal from the American people, why should they fear leaks? All surveillance does is inform the government of what we’re up to, and all Edward Snowden did was clue us in as to what the government is up to. If NSA spying is harmless and beneficial, why can’t we know about it? If the American people don’t get to keep secrets from the government, why does the government get to keep secrets from us?
- You argue that the American people can trust government officials with their sensitive, private information. And yet, you are simultaneously furious with Edward Snowden, a government official, for being untrustworthy with sensitive, private information. Can federal employees be trusted with our secrets, or can’t they?