Thursday, 5 December 2013

Person of the Year


“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
H.G. Wells

No one would have believed in the first years of this century’s second decade that our online world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligence services endowed with superior resources and the legal privileges to do as they will; that as we busied ourselves about our various concerns we were scrutinised as studied by the billion, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
But then came a person, one person, and opened our eyes to this grim reality. Speaking for myself, my view of the world has changed drastically since this person’s revelations came to light. Hard to imagine those revelations only a few months ago. Regardless, I will probably never see the world in the same way again. It was as if someone opened my eyes and showed me I was living in The Matrix. Reports in the media clearly indicate I am not the only one to feel this way.
Thus this man proved that a single person can still change the world, and change it for the better. I doubt there would come a year when the choice for “person of the year” could be as easy as this year’s.
That person is, of course, one Edward Snowden. Now, I don’t have much of an idea about him as a person. All I know is that a few years ago he made some remarks in favour of intelligence services. And, of course, that more recently he changed his mind as far as any change of mind can take place and made the bravest move to sacrifice the rest of his life for the benefit of society as a whole.
Regardless of my lack of familiarity with the person that is this hero, I would like to pay him back through an offer of asylum. Edward Snowden, you’re more than welcome to seek asylum at my house. Sadly, I suspect the government of Australia, a government that already labelled you (very inaccurately) to be “an American traitor”, would object to that.
Please, continue to prove them wrong.


Image: Screenshot of the film Prism by Praxis Films, believed to be OK to use under fair use

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