LAHORE: Beware of Google, Skype, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Apple. Instead of being your cyber buddies they have become Big Brother, complicit in the US National Security Agency’s worldwide spying activities. Pakistanis would never have known that their privacy was being violated but for one young man. We all owe immense gratitude to the 29-year-old former NSA employee, Edward Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong before going ahead with his shocking revelations on America’s most secret and biggest intelligence agency.
He is the source who leaked highly classified information to The Guardian that America’s NSA collected 13.5 billion intelligence reports from Pakistan alone in March this year. We are the second-highest country on the list of nations the US spied on. Would any of us be willing to do what Edward Snowden did and give up our cushy lives like he did? He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the US government has been secretly building to spy on the world and even its own citizens.
Snowden has said that he does not want to live in a world where the rights of ordinary people to privacy are willfully disregarded by the state. Only if there were such whistleblowers in our own society.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2013.