Eric Snowden, Patriot or Traitor?
Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. “
Since 911, The United States and other countries facing the threat of terrorism have had to grapple with balancing freedom and security. I believe Eric Snowden has done us a great service by trying to bring this issue to the forefront.
We live in an age where technology makes it easier for authorities to monitor us. As technology continues to advance, the protection of our privacy becomes crucial. Not only does the internet and social media such as Facebook make it easy to gather information, but we now have the ability to store that information cheaply. Think of all the voluntary disclosures you make say on Facebook. You give your name, hometown, where you work, even your relationship status. If you then add electronic eavesdropping and wire tapping what is left of our privacy?
I understand the need to protect the innocent from terrorism, but where do we draw the line? Who draws it and by what authority? Air travel would certainly be safer if all passengers were given a full body cavity search, but is that the type of society we wish to live in? What happens if you have a friend who has terrorist connections you knew nothing about? Couldn’t you now become subject to scrutiny even though you’re totally innocent?
These are issues that need to be fully debated. I believe that was what Eric Snowden was attempting to do. He wanted to draw our attention to what is already being done so that these important issues can be publicly discussed and debated. The real question is are we Americans more preoccupied with how our 401k s are doing and our favorite sports team, that the whole thing soon passes with little real concern on our part. I often wonder how far the government could go in taking away our rights before we would act to stop them. Are we willing to sacrifice liberty for safety and comfort? That is the question we as a society need to ask ourselves.