The Computer Story Of 2013: Edward Snowden’s Revelations
‘Edward Snowden’s Revelations’ has been chosen as this year’s Computer Story of 2013, receiving 58.33% of the votes.
Second and third came ‘Google Glass’ (16,72%) and ‘NASA’s Internet Connection In Space’ (8,33%).
Edward Snowden appeared much in the news this year because he unveiled secret documents that proved that governments and intelligence agencies around the world are painstakingly recording and analyzing all forms of communications.
Snowden used to be a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor stationed in Hawaii. While working for the NSA he became very disturbed about the privacy diminishing operations by governments around the world he was confronted with on a daily basis.
Snowden would, for example, have been able to read every email from every single person by simply knowing a person’s email address, and the NSA would be storing all people their emails, phone conversations and other forms of communication into a computer. There would even be secret agents who operate in World of Warcraft and other online games to gain information.
Snowden decided to make these secret operations public, to make people aware of what governments around the world are doing in the name of national security. Snowden fled to Hong Kong earlier this year, together with a large amount of classified documents. On the 5th of June the British newspaper The Guardian published its first article about the leaked NSA documents, after which countless media reports followed.
Snowden later fled to Russia, where his US passport was revoked. He got stuck at the airport terminal in Moscow, where he was forced to stay for several weeks until he received asylum from another country than the US, where he is wanted for espionage charges.
Snowden eventually received asylum in Russia for a year, which didn’t allow Snowden to be taken by US authorities. Snowden would currently be living and working somewhere in Russia, where he continues his mission to make the public aware of the importance of privacy and the government’s operations.
On Christmas day Snowden received the honor to hold a special Christmas speech on the British Channel 4, where he underlined the importance of privacy and why we should care.