Edward Joseph Snowden

(see here also: Poitras, Laura, CITIZENFOUR)

Permanent Record, 2019

Secrecy is not privacy. The right to privacy in one’s loo is not the right to secrecy in spying on the lives of others, particularly when done for profit, control, suppression. First, transparency is safer than secrecy because thanks to it the truth can reach more people faster than lies can do in the meantime. Second, we learned by experience that behind any secrecy and urge for secrecy there are always crooks, criminals, potential trouble sources, suppressive persons aiming at exploiting secrecy to screw us, stab us in the back, get away with it and look down on us in the meantime. And history has taught us also that crimes perpetrated thanks to secrecy are far worse than those secrecy pretends to protect us from. Third, real justice is a cause strong enough for any government to deserve and earn the support of people, and that no one must be allowed to be above the law – I mean no one, first and foremost those who routinely chase their office in order to do just that such as intelligence, law enforcement and public officials – is a definitely major part of it. Thus, Edward Snowden is a hero, one of the greatest heroes of our times; thanks to him we know that such times of ours have begun when the tools available have enabled the intentions of the worst among us to move from privacy by default to surveillance by default, from spying as the exception to spying as the rule, from prosecuting after the fact to prosecuting before any possible fact, no fact included to begin with; times closer to 1984 and Matrix than to a free safe decent world, heading towards slavery and annihilation of people rather than towards their freedom and survival; times resulting from people unaware, manipulated and apathetical enough to permit an insignificant percentage of suppressive individuals to turn into potential trouble sources and thus accomplices, regardless of whether unaware or deliberate, a percentage of people significant enough to crush us all to hell. It could be said, “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls. The whistleblower tolls it for thee.”