Complex Roundtable: The Most Fascinating Tech Stories of 2013 (So Far)

Edward Snowden and the NSA Leaks

On the surface, the Edward Snowden story doesn't seem like a "tech" story so much as an intelligence story, or the story of a high-profile leak, or someone who's been charged with spying and is now the target of an international manhunt. But that's the problem, isn't it? The story of the guy who leaked some of the most revealing pieces of information to ever be made public about the extent to which the American Surveillance State lords over us is now overshadowing the revelations themselves. And those revelations? They basically amount to the fact that your life is pretty much just like Enemy of the State, with less Fresh Prince involved.

Yes, the American government is collecting metadata on every phone call, email, and Internet search. If they can collect it, they probably have collected it, or thought about collecting it. Almost everything we do on a machine connecting to a data line of any kind is being scooped up by someone, somewhere, and we're not really thinking about them as we do it. The fact that we're numb to this says as much about how we participate in that exchange as it does the insidiousness by which it's done. The bottom line is that Edward Snowden is our generation's Daniel Ellsberg, with one major difference: Ellsberg's leaks helped lead to the end of one of the most pointlessly violent conflicts in American history. Snowden's leaks are just preparing us for more of what's to come, regardless of whether we know about it or not. —Foster Kamer, Complex (@weareyourfek)

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