Letter: The Real Victims of NSA Surveillance

Mathieu Deflem
www.mathieudeflem.net

Letter to the Editor published in The Guardian, June 12, 2013, p. 31.
Check the June 11 online posting at the publisher.

Please cite as: Deflem, Mathieu. 2013. Letter to the Editor ["The Real Victims of NSA Surveillance"]. The Guardian, June 12, 2013, p. 31.



The revelation of secret NSA surveillance practices is also a revelation of the actions of a whistleblower and the journalists through whom he chose to speak. Instead of readily becoming admirers of these newly proclaimed defenders of a transparent society, it might be useful to ask pertinent questions about their conduct and motives as well.

For not asking such questions would imply that we leave unaccountable any individuals with self-declared motivations of not having done anything wrong and acting only on behalf of their understanding of what is in the public interest.

Should we really have a healthy distrust in government lead us to a blind faith in individuals of whom we know so little? It may be more than a not so clever pun to ask who is guarding The Guardian and how we can guard ourselves from whistleblowing becoming just another avenue to achieve celebrity status, whether intended or not.

Mathieu Deflem
Columbia, South Carolina

See related letter in the South China Morning Post.