Snowden Should Slip into Obscurity (Letter)

Mathieu Deflem
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This is a copy of a letter published in the South China Morning Post, June 18, 2013.

Also available online via the publisher.

Please cite as: Deflem, Mathieu. 2013. "Snowden Should Slip into Obscurity." Letter to the Editor. South China Morning Post, June 18, 2013, p. 10.

What have we learned from so-called whistle-blower Edward Snowden other than that intelligence services are involved in gathering intelligence? How remarkable!

But what have we learned from Mr Snowden about himself, other than the self-serving statements about his intent and motivations, for which we just seem to have to take his word?

Why would we have to accept his self-righteous assertions, that he is only interested in exposing alleged criminality and that, by doing so, he is never safe again?

What evidence is there to suggest that US authorities are out to get him when all his statements about government power already reflect the predispositions of his own libertarian politics?

Most remarkably, Mr. Snowden is telling us time and again that he did not want to be in the spotlight.

What an odd choice he made then, in seeking exposure on this matter by contacting the global news media.

Let's hope that US authorities will do the right thing and investigate this matter in terms of legitimate security interests as well as privacy rights, without necessarily seeking to individually target Mr Snowden, which seems to be exactly what he wants.

Let's also hope he won't get much further publicity or a book deal out of this, so that he will soon be relegated to the life of obscurity he so much seems to desire. Then he can finally feel safe from us, as will we from him.

Mathieu Deflem

See related letter in The Guardian.

See other writings on (counter-)terrorism.