In a surprise move, The Guardian this morning announced that it would host an interview with perhaps the world's most-sought-after subject: Edward Snowden, the man behind the massive leaks of NSA material. Even more surprising, the interviewers: Anyone with a question to ask.
The first questions, selected by Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, focused on Snowden's decision to go to Hong Kong and the extent of the files he collected. To which Snowden responded:
First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.
Second, let's be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target.
The response to the second question was more evocative. "All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me," Snowden wrote. "Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped."
The questions were among those submitted through comments at the paper's website and via the hashtag #AskSnowden. Before his responses began, the site had tallied nearly 500 questions, and the hashtag hundreds more — ranging widely in quality.
#Asksnowden What can we the people do to decentralize the internet? is anonymity a good thing, why or why not? why did you choose not to be?— Jack O'Brien (@obrienjackj) June 17, 2013
What do you hope to do differently from Julian Assange? #AskSnowden— Alexander C. Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) June 17, 2013
#AskSnowden did you find out anything about Area 51?— Jeramie Hicks (@JeramieHicks) June 17, 2013
#AskSnowden br0, d0 j00 3v3n l1ft??— blasty (@bl4sty) June 17, 2013
- Glenn Greenwald