Ever since I was 7-years-old, I knew I wanted to be a writer and made my own Mr Men books. Today, I am a freelance writer and have the privilege to review bands, theatre and comedy across Melbourne, not to mention interview some incredible artists.
Exposing the watchdog
Edward Snowden, the man at the centre of an espionage scandal in the USA has brought his controversial story to Australia. Presented by The Chaser host Julian Morrow at the Plenary in Melbourne, Snowden appeared live via video link. The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, and former contractor for the United States government is notorious for copying and leaking classified information about the National Security Agency (NSA) in June 2013 at the age of 29. Highly intelligent and engaging, Snowden remained poised and unflustered throughout the evening, given his precarious situation. "This was never about me – it was about my family, my society – this was about everybody that I cared about."
Not afraid to speak out about the injustices of government agencies in the USA, Snowden said. "No matter who you are, where you're from or how innocent your life may be – you're being watched". Snowden viewed the government's spying on everyday citizens as an infringement of their civil liberties and uncovered that the NSA were tapping into data from several Internet companies and looking into personal emails, videos and text messages among other data. "The government will keep a record of it and they are accessing your data without your consent".
Edward Snowden: Hero or villain?
In the Q&A when asked about his current state, Snowden responded. "The thing is I'm more free today – before I cared about these things, I wrote about these things, I talked about these things in a very small limited way, which had very limited measured impact. I didn't have much influence because I hadn't risked much. The more that you risk, the more that you care, the more people are willing to listen." With over 2 million Twitter followers alone, the public is definitely listening. Snowden risked everything as he felt it was necessary to inform the public about the systemic abuse of power within US government agencies. His passion and commitment to inform the public should deem him a hero not a felon.
Sharing his story via live video link.Snowden is currently in Russia where he has been granted political asylum.
In 2013 Snowden was charged with three felonies, two under the Espionage Act. Today Snowden resides in Russia where he has been granted political asylum.