Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been awarded the Guardian Person of the Year 2013 on Monday for exposing some of what every targeted individual survivor wants the world to know regarding surveillance human rights basic abuses, despite not relating that this abuse includes 24/7 surveillance to terrorize millions of innocent corporate-government victims.
"For the second year in a row, a young American whistleblower alarmed at the unfettered and at times cynical deployment of power by the world's foremost superpower has been voted the Guardian's person of the year," reported Lori Price of Citizens for Legitimate Government.
Snowden leaked an estimated 200,000 files, exposing the extensive and intrusive nature of phone and internet surveillance and intelligence gathering by the United States and its western allies.
Out of over 2,000 people who voted, NSA whistleblower Snowden gained 1,445 votes.
The Guardian reported:
"It is strange to think now, but a little more than six months ago, virtually no one had heard of Snowden, and few people outside the US would have been able to identify what the initials NSA stood for." and "few people had any idea of the extent to which governments and their secretive auxiliaries were able to trawl, sift, collect and scrutinise the personal digital footprints of millions of private individuals."
Targeted individuals, however, are far from "few." Every one of them knows first-hand about surveillance issues.
As one such targeted person, Katherine Moore, points out, a 2009 Department of Justice survey revealed that 5.9 million Americans are targeted individuals. These innocent Americans are victims of surveillance “targeting” by large corporations, extremist groups, and/or outlaw factions of state, local, and federal law enforcement, according to Moore.
Those innocent targeted individuals have known and unsuccessfully reported to media and human rights groups for years what Snowden finally did in a way that media could no longer dismiss.
In fact, those targets have repeatedly reported what Snowden has and more: that a well orchestrated powerful force consisting of corporate government cybernet and foot "stalkers" have kept them under 24/7 surveillance, tampered with their internet and snail mail, intruded their homes through unforced break-ins, threatened their lives and that of their children, had them mobbed out of the workplace, and eventually ruined them financially.
The full extent of this U.S.-based human rights abuse regarding surveillance has yet to be revealed.
What Snowden has done, however, aside from putting U.S. surveillance abuse on the front burner, is that he has boosted hope for those millions of quietly persecuted targets, previously misdiagnosed as paranoid and thus, further victimized. He did so at a great cost.
"Forced to go on the run, he ended up in Moscow where he now lives in a curious Julian Assange-like limbo, unable to leave Russia for fear of arrest, extradition to the US and a prosecution that would threaten a long jail sentence, if Manning's term of 35 years is anything to go by," the Guardian reports.
In a landslide vote, whistleblower Chelsea Manning won last year's Guardian Person of the Year.
Some 5.9 million targeted individuals now hope that the next Guardian Person of the Year will be one who successfully exposes the rest of the surveillance story.