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Teaching Edward Snowden

posted: 7.25.13 by Barclay Barrios

As I write this, Edward Snowden—NSA secret leaker—is still very much in the news, though in a “Where in the world is Edward Snowden?” kind of way.  At the same time, the current issue of Time is devoted to “The Informers” and anti-government hacktivism.

Peter Singer’s essay “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets” would be a great essay to be teaching right now.  Singer examines both the rising nature of a surveillance society, one in which notions of privacy are changing and one in which we actively participate that change by signing away our information en masse online, as well as “sousveillance,” a kind of surveillance from below in which citizens keep an eye on the government through sites like Wikileaks.

For Singer, sousveillance keeps governments transparent.  It would be interesting to test his ideas against Snowden, particularly as his case develops.

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