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An open letter from within glass walls

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Tue, Jul 16 at 09:53 AM (UTC)
Subject: A few words of support

Hi Ed Snowden,

Since your email address appeared on the Web, you’ve probably been inundated with emails from people around the world. Or maybe people are afraid to write, knowing that you’re very closely monitored, and not wanting to lose their ability to cross borders. I am writing anyway!

Thank you for the risk you are taking. Listening to the interviews that Glen Greenwald and Laura Poitras did with you inspired me greatly. Much of the focus in the US media has been on how the US government is spying on US citizens, and there has been little concern about their spying on citizens of other countries. A typically insular perspective.

As a net-connected Canadian, I am very active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and WordPress. I have known since I joined these platforms that I pay for these services with some of my personal information.

But when I saw the documents you released, I realized just how compromised these online services really are. My passwords are keys to
rooms with glass walls, and on display is everything about me.

Having realized this, I have deactivated my icloud account, removed most of my photos from Facebook, encrypted my hard drive, moved all my backup data to a terabyte hard drive in the basement (gotta encrypt that) and opened a HushMail account (with the intention of eventually deleting my gmail account). I have also turned off location services on my phone and beefed up its password.

Really, it’s kind of too late for me and most social media users since we have already allowed so much information about ourselves to be made public. As an activist, I have a great many connections to aboriginal and climate activists so have probably been on lists for years anyway.

Everyone says that it’s no problem that governments have access to our personal and private information, because as long as we’re not doing anything wrong, we have nothing to worry about. Sounds crazy to me. If you weren’t Jewish, Slavic, Communist, gay, handicapped, etc., then you were safe in Nazi Germany. Right up until you were added to the long list of so-called wrongdoers.

It is clear to me that you love your country very much. Probably more than most of your American detractors (ironically). The current government of my country is very conservative, and very much in the pocket of the US government. Having travelled to Iceland, I have also considered moving there! But it’s almost impossible to immigrate if you are not a part of the EU, and my Icelandic friends tell me their current government is quite conservative also. And anyway, I still love my home, even if the government is terrible at the moment.

I wrote a blog post about your activities:

If you need anything from a Canadian, and it won’t get me arrested, let me know! If it will get me arrested, let me know anyway and I’ll see what I can do.

I wish you safe travels and pray that you find a safe home.


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