Edward Snowden has two profiles :
- a rogue NSA contractor who stole US National data and revealed them to the wider world public.
- a NSA contractor who stood for the freedom of expression and privacy rights.
Depending on which side you come from, you would believe in one of the two perceptions or both of them. Irrespective of how anybody may perceive Snowden, he has changed the world by blowing the whistle on the biggest data snooping methodology by US government. I owe my life to computer science engineering education and love the openness of the Internet. I had always been a staunch supporter of retaining the freedom of internet away from government hands. However, US has killed the openness of the internet by exploiting the openness and technological advantage of US companies in the internet space for it's own benefits. In light of these development, I foresee a world where every country may rightfully demand the data of it's user stay within it's physical borders, there be restricting the openness of the Internet.
Edward Snowden is only 14 months elder to me and was in a well paid Govt job. He however chose to give up all the comfort of the material world and undergo extreme isolation in this world when he decided to release information on data snooping which he believed is unconstitutional. His stand was vindicated when a US district court gave a judgement questioning the constitutional validity of the snooping process carried out by the US government. I consider him a hero for his guts to take on the most powerful government in the world and it's spy agency, and for the conviction of his belief on what is right and wrong.
He is a beacon to the entire world on privacy rights and is my person of the year.