WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website dedicated to uncovering and publishing secret information and news leaks for the sake of providing the public with the truth, is not alone in its fight. Edward Snowden, who until last month was a relatively unknown figure, has been thrust into the limelight following his exposure of United States surveillance secrets.
The former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) justified his actions by saying that he “can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building” (Greenwald, MacAskill, & Poitras, 2013).
His actions largely mirror that of WikiLeaks, whose founder Julian Assange has been pursued and is currently seeking asylum in Ecuador. Both men have been painted by governments as villains, but many media outlets have done otherwise, portraying them as champions of freedom. What’s more, a majority of people commenting on the Internet have also praised them for forcing transparency in governments and removing coverups.
It is then not surprising that in latest developments, WikiLeaks is seen to be offering assistance to Snowden, who fled US to avoid arrest. WikiLeaks has “brokered an offer of political asylum in Ecuador for United States intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden” and that “WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange this morning welcomed Ecuador’s decision to assist Mr Snowden” (Dorling, 2013). Assange also expressed “great personal sympathy” for Snowden.
While it remains to be seen what will eventually happen to Snowden, his actions have proved that certain governments, even one as powerful as the United States, are guilty of committing unethical acts against others.
Dorling. (2013). Assange pushes Snowden bid for Ecuador asylum Retrieved 24 June 2013, from http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/security-it/assange-pushes-snowden-bid-for-ecuador-asylum-20130624-2or96.html
Greenwald, G., MacAskill, E., & Poitras, L. (2013). Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations Retrieved 24 June 2013, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20aux-1%20mini-bento:Bento%20box%208%20col:Position1:sublinks