Edward Snowden is the man who exposed NSA’s Orwellian surveillance measures. Being formerly a part of NSA, he leaked the PRISM surveillance program slides to The Guardian, thus acting as a conscientious whistle-blowers. Not surprisingly, U.S. government has formally leveled espionage charges against him and intends to make an example out of him, much like Bradley Manning.
Unlike Manning, Snowden decided to reveal his identity on his own and has been stating that he is well aware of the consequences he may have to face. By leaking the PRISM slides, Snowden was able to bring the world’s attention to the fact that NSA was indulging in unconstitutional and illegal wiretapping of millions of U.S. citizens as well as people all over the globe.
Rather than acting on this information and bringing NSA within the fold of constitutional measures, the U.S. government immediately decided to lend its full support to the agency. In fact, we even saw a number of government officials blatantly lying about the way NSA wiretaps calls or online data. This only hints that regardless of what NSA does, the Obama government intends to support it.
So it is not surprising to note that the U.S. government has now filed a number of charges against Snowden, including espionage, conversion of government property and theft. The plan is to request the Hong Kong government to detain Snowden so that he could be extradited eventually.
Given the extradition agreement between U.S. and Hong Kong, Snowden will be extradited in all likelihood. But if Snowden is prosecuted and punished for his revelations, this would mean that the U.S. Congress, judiciary and the U.S. government are not strong enough to question a spy agency that is running amok with virtually infinite powers and silences anyone who criticizes it.