KATIE ZERR: Will ‘Spy vs Spy’ keep us safe?


Edward Snowden, whistleblower, protector of the rights of Americans and a hero. Is he really?

Watching this story unfold has been very interesting. With the information that was revealed in the first days of Snowden’s revelations, many were standing up loudly proclaiming Snowden as a hero and a protector of our rights as Americans.

As he proclaimed the government agencies were reading our emails and listening to our phone calls, many across the nation were applauding his courage and resolution to do what is right.

He was being lauded as a hero.

Snowden is nowhere close to being a hero.

This is a young man who is certainly enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. He wrapped himself in the flag, anointed himself a defender of our rights and then in Hong Kong, told the world the United States government was hacking the Chinese government’s computers. We were using technology to spy on a Communist government.

We all know this. It has been going on since the earth was young and members of one tribe decided they wanted what another had. Someone was sent out to find out how that tribe had obtained the coveted item or to steal it. Through possibly a covert operation, they were able to obtain either the information or the item.

We all know this happens every day on this planet. It is a game among governments. It is the adult version of hide and seek or capture the flag.

Those of us who watch what goes on in the outside world know that this happens and when it was revealed that the Chinese have been hacking the U. S. government sites, shoulders shrugged. Eventually it was going to come out.

But with the words, “Our government is hacking computers in China,” Snowden crossed that line. He is now some guy who is bordering on traitorous actions.

He was basking in the glory of doing what is right and in a short lapse in the “I am an American Hero” tirade of Edward Snowden, he became, to some, a traitor.

We are such hypocrites.

If we look with open eyes at the world in which we live, what has become of our lives should scare us. We are being tracked by technology every hour of every day of our lives. We accept that because it is a matter of convenience for most and fun for many others because technology makes us happy. Our cell phones and computers enter our information in databases that are used by many entities. If that information, the whole truth about what we subject ourselves to each time we use our phones or computers, were paid as much attention as this story, that would scare us.

The shock of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, was still raw in our souls when we allowed the Patriot Act to become law. We knew then that life in Mayberry was over.

If we knew then what we know now, would we have allowed our government the right to overstep the boundaries of the Bill of Rights?

Now the question is, can we stop terrorism without the use of technological spying?

Do we really want our security agencies to drop all of this and go back to the  ‘Spy vs. Spy’ days?

With 9/11 came the terrorist enemy and acts of terror will always occur in this new world. Our security agencies are telling us that their jobs depend on us letting go of some of our freedoms.

Is the U.S. Government listening to all of our phone calls and reading our email? No. With the volume of calls and emails each day in this country, that thought is ridiculous.

But never has this country been as vulnerable to foreign attacks since the founding fathers wrote the protections of individual sovereignty against an intrusive government.

Are we willing to allow the erosions of those freedoms for safety and convenience?

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