Is Snowden a civil disobedience hero?

Photo: See-ming Lee, Flickr

Photo: See-ming Lee, Flickr

RADIO:

As the stalemate over the fate of former CIA employee Edward Snowden continues, the fugitive whistle blower is facing increasing criticism over his leak of secret NSA intelligence. Voice of Russia’s Nima Green reports.

Though the global guessing game over his precise whereabouts has ended, there is increasing criticism over the methods and motives behind the man who, only a few weeks ago, was unknown.

But vocal freedom of speech advocates like Julian Assange, have been quick to label him a ‘hero’.

They argue that Snowden has provided the world with an invaluable public service by revealing the secret large-scale surveillance programme, PRISM, run by America’s National Security Agency.

However, some say that Snowden has broken the law by breaking his NSA secrecy oath, jeopardised US global intelligence gathering in the future, and is guilty of hypocrisy.

They question why a champion of freedom of expression should ally himself with China, Russia, and potentially Cuba or Ecuador, countries they say do not encourage civil liberties.

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