“Snowden’s Treaty” is beneficial for online privacy

Joaquin Junco Jr. | Chronicle Illustration
Joaquin Junco Jr. | Chronicle Illustration

Joaquin Junco Jr. | Chronicle Illustration

By Carlos Solis |Staff Writer|

The days of safety are over. There’s nowhere to hide; if you think the streets are unsafe, you should be even more careful while browsing online.

“Snowden’s Treaty” is a petition for governments to stop the surveillance and information collection of users online and protect “whistleblowers” (people that reveal government classified information).

The treaty is named after Edward Snowden because he is the most influential name in the organization.

The treaty was developed by experts in international law and legal specialists in internet freedom according to Newsweek.

We need Snowden’s Treaty. If we want our privacy back, we can’t allow it to die.

The watched become the watchers. Rules have changed.

The countries that sign the treaty will be forced to change their laws and stop mass surveillance on their people.

Do we even care that we are being watched? Our online privacy has been compromised. People can know about us before they meet us.

Communication companies and internet service providers can retrieve our information, sell it to the government, who then re-sell it to other companies.

Let’s say you go to an interview, and the interviewer knows about your likes, videos watched, pages visited and your e-mails. Now your information has value.

“We can discuss things now that five years back, if you had brought them up in a serious conversation, would have gotten you sort of labelled as a conspiracy theorist,” said Snowden in a video conference last week with Democracy Now.

Snowden used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but was fired for revealing classified information about government surveillance programs with the help of communications-based companies.

Snowden is now an activist, fighting for our digital rights, those of which seem the most important in my opinion.

I know there are other points of views about the issue of government surveillance. What if they do it for a greater good? For example, like capturing terrorists, arresting drug dealers, or preventing piracy. If you don’t have anything to hide, cast the first tweet.

People might say Snowden is a criminal, that what he did was wrong, that it was selfish and sometimes I can’t argue with that, but in my opinion, he didn’t do it for himself. He was trying to prevent further harm from happening.

Some people might say that it’s okay that the government keeps track of our information for useful purposes previously mentioned. However, I don’t think those are the only purposes of surveillance.

For those countries that don’t accept and don’t protect whistle blowers, people just seek asylum in other countries. Snowden currently lives in Russia where he is getting the protection he needs.

I do not think Snowden was unethical in revealing classified information, but I believe it was the right action for him to do. When you are in the dark for a long time, getting into the light hurts.

“Society has changed. We need the right for privacy” said CSUSB Administrative Assistant Randy Valles.

I support the Snowden Treaty, mainly because it makes me feel safe and I don’t like everything I do being watched, because I spend most of my time online.

I stopped believing in the US government doing it for a greater good.

I encourage you to believe we have the right to privacy, so we can’t let an idea like Snowden’s fall apart because we didn’t believe that it was our right.

I believe I have the right to use the internet without being watched.

By the time I finish writing this, Uncle Sam may already wonder why I’m searching about Snowden, internet privacy, and probably have read this article.

It’s a necessity for us to have our online rights and privacy protected.


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