a reply to: MimiSia
Well, just to go into the protection issue for a moment...
Ordinarily speaking, in any other realm of life, when you see something is wrong within a company structure, you have to report it, and doing so must
not harm your status within the company, or change the way you are treated by your fellow employees. Similarly, if an employee of the government see
something wrong with what they are doing, something which breaks the law, or exceeds the bounds of the public office involved, they too may deal with
the issue through whistleblowing. There are, in fact organisations within government whose entire job is to deal with these complaints from employees
of the state. In fact, the defence/intelligence community has its very own...
However, where Snowden fell over the law, which he knew he would at the time, is that there was no protection offered him in his status at the time
of the leak, of being a private contractor, working with a private company, but on behalf of the NSA.
You and I may realise that there should be no difference between those employment types, but the law, written by those for whom whistleblowing is a
problem, not a positive, is constructed to make these things as difficult a possible for those who seek to blow the whistle. Now, because Snowden knew
this was the case, he knew he could not use the procedural method of getting the information out, because it was not available to him as a private
contractor. Also, he knew that using official channels might result in the documents and the information therein, never becoming public knowledge, and
the abuse of civil liberties would continue without anyone being the wiser.
That is why he had to do what he did, because the government of the United States made it impossible for him to blow the whistle from his position at
the time, and furthermore that it might never have resulted in public awareness of the issues presented by the all pervading surveillance and bulk
data collection enacted by the NSA and the other members of the "Five Eyes".
As for the picture in my avatar, yes, that's me, drinking rum, and having a good time while looking furry.