NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden has thus far survived the controversy surrounding him to continue making waves about abusive spying policies of the U.S. government. Snowden is now planning to join the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, reported The New York Times on Jan. 14, 2014. Snowden is the former National Security Agency contractor whose leaks of secret documents about government spying has shaken up the world.
Snowden is now joining the board of a nonprofit organization which was co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg, the well-known activist who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. This is creating some problems for Snowden’s critics, who see him as a criminal and a traitor. His supporters have a more enlightened view of him as a whistle-blower and source for the news media, similar to that of Ellsberg.
Snowden made a compelling comment about this controversy in a TV Christmas message, saying, “Privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.” Snowden is absolutely right. There have clearly been millions of decent Americans whose lives have been cruelly ruined because of invasions of their privacy by their own government, which has therefore actually been their enemy.
On its website the Freedom of the Press Foundation states, "Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is proud to announce NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will join its board of directors." Co-founder Daniel Ellsberg has said he is proud and honored to welcome Snowden to Freedom of the Press Foundation’s board of directors. Ellsberg sees Snowden as the quintessential American whistleblower and a personal hero of his.
Ellsberg has also said that leaks are the lifeblood of the republic. It took Snowden to bring the vital presence of Ellsberg back alive in the hearts and minds of American activists and it took Ellsberg to help us realize Snowden actually is an American hero and a friend of Americans who value freedom and democracy. More of this type of activism to protect the cherished privacy rights of Americans is absolutely necessary or the nation could completely collapse into existence as a complete totalitarian fascist police state, which is the direction it has been heading in for far too long.