As I was getting more and more interested in politics, the NSA and Wikileaks affair was in the news everyday, and more and more people were talking about it. As a young person in high school I had a lot of interest in this story. Besides that, these two people were in my opinion heroes of the modern world.
When you hear about surveillance programs and spying on innocent citizens in the name of “security and democracy”, you think that is some kind of fiction and something unrealistic. Assange and Snowden show that these thing are real, and that they are a real threat to the world. It is also important that they showed the real face behind the war on terror and the US campaign in the Middle East(the video of US soldiers shooting reporters, if you are interested you can find it on YouTube). These leaks included many other things like corruption, money laundering, wrongdoings of corporations, drug trafficking and many other things. Why were the issues of invasion of privacy and surveillance of citizens the most shocking to the public ? Well, as we all know privacy is for all people a sacred thing, a place they go to when they want to hide from their problems or a place to be themselves. This meant that corporations, governments and powerful individuals had informations about what people like, their conversations with their friends, their secrets, their fears and so on. This means that these institutions can blackmail you for disobeying and so destroy your life by showing your secrets. For me, this was the most freighting thing I have heard in my whole life. This is playing with human lifes and seems like Orwell and Huxley were right in their books. The funny thing is that the countries spying were liberal democracies like the USA, France, Germany and UK. The spying of citizens by autocratic regimes interested nobody. Now, people in liberal democracies see how vulnerable they are and what their governments are doing behind the veil. All of this was shown to the world by Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who are both now living outside their countries and being hunted by the US government. Assange a hacker from Australia, and Snowden an ex-worker in the NSA both gave up comfortable lifes, their security and freedom for an ideal. An ideal of a free world, where nobody can steal your secrets, your intimacy and can’t play with your life behind a monitor. Why did they risk all of that instead of living like everybody else?. This shows that there are people ready to give up their lifes for a more humane and free world.
In my opinion these two give me hope that there are still people who care about others which are miles away. People ready to risk it all for the security of others. How these two cases will end I can not tell you, but I hope this will raise the awareness about our vulnerability and the ways technology has exposed us. In the end I sincerely hope these two will win in their fight.