Why privacy matters
The above talk by Gleen Greenwald has simply to many important messages in it to simply quote here (hence you need to see it). However, in the Q&A section, this stood out:
Question: So Snowden is very, as we’ve seen at TED, is very articulate in presenting and portraying himself as a defender of democratic values and democratic principles. But then, many people really find it difficult to believe that those are his only motivations. They find it difficult to believe that there was no money involved, that he didn’t sell some of those secrets, even to China and to Russia, which are clearly not the best friends of the United States right now. And I’m sure many people in the room are wondering the same question. Do you consider it possible there is that part of Snowden we’ve not seen yet?
Greenwald: No, I consider that absurd and idiotic. If you wanted to, and I know you’re just playing devil’s advocate, but if you wanted to sell secrets to another country, which he could have done and become extremely rich doing so, the last thing you would do is take those secrets and give them to journalists and ask journalists to publish them, because it makes those secrets worthless. People who want to enrich themselves do it secretly by selling secrets to the government, but I think there’s one important point worth making, which is, that accusation comes from people in the U.S. government, from people in the media who are loyalists to these various governments, and I think a lot of times when people make accusations like that about other people — “Oh, he can’t really be doing this for principled reasons, he must have some corrupt, nefarious reason” — they’re saying a lot more about themselves than they are the target of their accusations, because those people, the ones who make that accusation, they themselves never act for any reason other than corrupt reasons, so they assume that everybody else is plagued by the same disease of soullessness as they are, and so that’s the assumption.