Edward Snowden is a hero. At least for the Chinese internet users who cannot stop admiring his “efforts” to expose National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program codenamed PRISM.
Following the revelation of the data mining project, massive outrage sparked across the United States regarding the Obama administration ‘eavesdropping’ on American citizens. The story took a new and even more serious turn when another secret surveillance tool, Boundless Informant’s existence was unveiled which revealed that the U.S. monitoring system had been looking into a lot more countries other than itself.
While the U.S. government has become ‘the bad guy’ in the whole episode, ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden has become some sort of a hero, especially after his claim that he leaked the top secret information for the sake of ‘basic liberties for people around the world.’ He went against the government of his own country and took probably the greatest risk of his life.
In China, a country which is allegedly an ‘Olympic winner’ of internet spying and surveillance, people can’t help but praise Snowden for going against all odds and disclosing such sensitive information.
Josh Chin, Editor of The Wall Street Journal's China Real Time Report, cited some comments from China’s popular micro-blogging site ‘Weibo’ where internet users expressed their admiration for the whistleblower.
‘This is the definition of heroism,” wrote one user. “Doing this proves he genuinely cares about this country and about his country’s citizens. All countries need someone like him.”
The comments on ‘Weibo’ were not just appreciation for Snowden; they also contained Chinese peoples’ rage against their own government’s strict and authoritarian internet policies.
One user was quite bold to write, “What I want to know is what would have happened if this guy had tried to do this in the Celestial Kingdom. I’m guessing he would have been killed in a car accident, or died of carbon monoxide poisoning, or something along those lines.”
In another post on the site, someone suggested to provide Snowden asylum in China, “He must be protected…This is one of the few opportunities the Communist Party has to contribute to world good.”
And to top all of these posts and comments, a Chinese blogger based in Hong Kong tweeted, “I hope that an Edward Snowden comes out of China’s Great Firewall system, exposes it, and goes down in the annals of history as a hero.”
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