So I have a confession to make, I’m a fan of Edward Snowden. That’s right--- I have a bit of a crush on the man who leaked government information, fled the country, and is seeking asylum in Russia. What can I say? I have a think for bad guys.
And I’m not alone. He pretty much has his own cult following of civil-liberties advocates.
Here’s why we are Snowden fans: Because Snowden released information on something important that he thought would impact the world, and it did. It gave us shocking information that helped start a conversation, and even changed government policy (cough, cough Patriot Act).
He did it in a way that he hoped would not harm anyone. Releasing only highly censored information after working with journalists to protect them.
Those that are fans of Snowden recently created a petition asking for Edward Snowden’s pardon. 167,000 signatures were added to the petition.
And the White House dismissed it saying:
"Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it."
Now, let me play the side of the White House for a bit. I get it, he was not allowed to leak this information and he knew it was classified. The information could potentially put others lives at risk. Plus the law is the law, and we have consequences for a reason. If we let this one slide, hacker and Julian Assange’s of the world would have a field day.
So I can also see why it was denied.
But what do you think? Bad guy or heroic vigilante?
Snowden is remaining in Russia until things die down a bit. He told the Verge that he will only return to the US if guaranteed a fair trial, "Unfortunately, the Department of Justice is unwilling to agree in that regard," he said in March. "The only thing they have said at this point is that they would not execute me, which is not the same as a fair trial.”
In the meantime, get stoked about the Snowden movie.