Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Gone Without a Trace

Where is he now? Edward Snowden was interviewed by The Guardian in HK
We find it quite odd that former CIA technical assistant and now whistle-blower Edward Snowden chose Hong Kong to reveal himself as the one who claimed to have classified documents about a top-secret US surveillance program.

The 29-year-old claimed to choose the city because of its "commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent".

But what he did in fact was create a diplomatic kerfuffle for both the US and China with Hong Kong in the middle. Even though the city signed an extradition treaty with the US before 1997 with China's blessing, as we know, the CY Leung administration has no qualms asking Beijing what to do.

Snowden was seen in a video released by The Guardian speaking in a hotel room in the W Hotel in Kowloon and it was later revealed the American had checked out of The Mira hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, but it was unclear how long he had been staying there even though he first arrived in Hong Kong on May 20.

Now Snowden has "disappeared" and we are assuming having worked in the CIA that he knows a few things about keeping a low profile. We wonder if he was somewhat naive in thinking he could stay in Hong Kong freely particularly when his face has been splashed all over the papers and every other person has a smartphone.

So we think that he may have either left the city or knows someone who is keeping him underground. But we tend to think it's the former as it seemed like this was his first trip to Hong Kong.

In any event, we find his mission of exposing the US government program of basically vacuuming up all communications on our phones and emails for collection and then if later need be, call them up if there is any suspicion that any of us could be potential terrorists is a pretty frightening prospect.

No stone is left unturned unless you don't have a cell phone, don't use email or internet banking, or have an ATM card. That pretty much eliminates 90 percent of us.

Snowden has now allowed us the opportunity to talk about this surveillance openly and how we feel about it. We hope there will be productive conversations around this pressing issue and some kind of checks and balances will be sorted out.

While we all want to be kept safe, do they really need to know I posted food porn pictures on Facebook yesterday?

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