Sunday, July 07, 2013

Considering the source on Snowden

Honestly, I'm rather tired of the Edward Snowden story but another slow news cycle and the main source of entertainment today seems to be arguing about him. Given that the Snowden saga has dragged on for so long, I suppose it was inevitable that his motives would come into question.

On that point I agree with Nate Silver's tweet from a few days ago:
@fivethrityeight: Journalists shouldn't care about whether sources are good people, but about whether the source's account is reliable and accurate.
That being said, I did find this hit piece on Snowden mildly interesting. He does of course have a history on the internets and was once an active poster on the Ars Technica site. The consensus there is Snowden was pretty much a collosal dick. There are a lot of quotes at the link, including one exchange where he suggests we should let all the olds die rather than suck up our limited resources but this bit struck me as even more significant.
“Fuck old people”? An objectivist view if ever there was one. The other issue is the Second Amendment:

User: the restrictions were made to appease the conservatives to get another bill passed. fucking cons.

SNOWDEN: See, that’s why I’m goddamned glad for the second amendment. Me and all my lunatic, gun-toting NRA compatriots would be on the steps of Congress before the C-Span feed finished.
Not sure what to make of that but it's not shouting thoughtful concerned citizen to me.

In any event, whatever his motives are, while I remain grateful Snowden resurrected the objections to the surveillance state, if his goal really was to curtail it, and not simple attention seeking, he's utterly failed in that mission. All he appears to have accomplished at this point is to further polarize the debate.

[cross posted at The Impolitic]


Victor said...

He did himself no favors by running off to China and Russia.

Libby Spencer said...

I remain surprised at how poorly he planned for the aftermath of going public.