Dissenter in Popular Culture
Dissenter in Popular Culture
A dissenter according to the western culture refers to a person who causes disputes as a whistleblower because they release information to the public that was confidential in the first place. A good number of these types of people are often discussed in the media or portrayed in films and shows and the controversy they cause is often taken as acts of a hero, a patriot or an outright traitor (Greenwald 14). For instance, the whistle blower in this case is Edward Joseph Snowden who is a former CIA employee and government contractor. His act of dissent came about when he leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to newspaper journalists.
The dissenter released information about the intelligent activities of many intelligent services in America, Australia and the British among many others. This information was leaked directly to journalist with the disclaimer that he screened all information to ensure that none of it could bring about harm to the countries affected (Greenwald 22). He showed the world that the government was secretive in disclosing the harm that the al Qaeda terrorist group had caused and was yet to cause.
He was supported because many believed he stroke a balance between national security and the right to information. He was very effective such that he was supported by the people and even the Russian government, giving him Asylum in Russia for the first year before extending to three. Edward directed his concerns to the public because he felt the need to expose the government’s plans and their excessive surveillance that infringed on the right to privacy of the American people. In addition, he used the common news outlets such as The Guardian and New York Times to release the information.
From all the controversy and the efforts by the United States Department of Justice to charge him with the counts of violating the Espionage act, it is evident that dissent may be a serious offense with massive consequences (Greenwald 25). In other cases, it is a breach of trust and an act of theft as illustrated by the argument that he had stolen government property.
Greenwald, Glenn. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the Nsa, and the U.s. Surveillance State. , 2014. Print.
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