When the top secret court orders to Verizon Company were revealed earlier in this month, massive outrage sparked across the country over breach of privacy by the U.S. government. The mainstream media was rife with news articles and reports about the National Security Agency snooping on American citizens and how it went against human rights.
But the focus somehow shifted when an ex-CIA agent came up and said that the court orders and some other sensitive U.S. intelligence information was leaked by him to all major news organizations. Following his appearance, almost all news reporters, journalists and analysts turned away from ‘NSA-snooping’ and never looked back.
What followed the whistleblower’s revelation were articles and in-depth analyses of his life, girlfriend, employers, high school proms and escape to Hong Kong. And after Snowden was charged with espionage, the entire focus was shifted towards countries like Ecuador, Russia and China that supported the whistleblower’s “noble cause.”
Words like ‘NSA scandal,’ ‘NSA espionage,’ ‘NSA snooping,’ almost vanished from news reports. Moreover, the U.S. administration officials took a step further and boldly criticized the countries that were spied on by the U.S. intelligence agencies, for supporting Snowden!
Is global espionage not important anymore? Why is the fact that the Obama administration practically snooped on almost the entire world being ignored? Is one interview enough to prove that the U.S. intelligence did not use the acquired e-mails?
If Edward Snowden can be charged with espionage to steal and leak classified information then why can’t the U.S. administration be answerable to all those who were snooped on?
These questions highlight the importance of an issue far more severe, critical and definitely important than Edward Snowden’s trial. And that issue is the global warrantless data acquisition by the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.
But then again, no one seems to be interested in that anymore. Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa rightly pointed out on Wednesday that “media coverage of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is distracting the world from the surveillance programs that Snowden revealed.”
The ‘fugitive or whistleblower’ analysis is not as important as the ‘espionage or surveillance’ debate and this is why the world needs to focus more on NSA-snooping than Edward Snowden.