Don’t know what to assume of recent talks Edward Snowden gave to TED/SXSW recently aside from some bipartisan thoughts.
Besides being a hero showing up on stage inside a robot from hit Russian asylum, his commitment towards the defence of privacy raises lots of questions.
First and foremost, let’s not forget that privacy is historically tied up with industrial revolutions, which fostered the very notion of Individual. You don’t have to hate privacy to observe that we probably never enjoyed as individual privileges and rights as today (exposure means secret). Our tolerance towards violations is just growing more scarce. Hence in a necessary way, Ed is tilting at windmills.
At 9′, he’s pledging corporations to get rid of governments, or at least to don’t trust them. NSA and Prism are both highly condemnable but do we have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and defy institutions? What’s the alternative? Embrace corporate world as he’s suggesting? Burn flags and create a global village without borders?
I strongly support Snowden initiative to empower people trough tools to protect their privacy but I’m not comfortable when he promotes libertarianism (from his bunker golden jail).
If Snowden point is to make people distrust governments and new technologies, then we should probably turn Amish and hide away from the modern civilization.
As Evgeny Morozov wisely indicates, privacy concerns are matters of balance, not radicalism.