Edward Snowden outed himself as Glenn Greenwald’s source to the story about N.S.A.’s PRISM program and call record collection program. There are several salacious aspects to this story. First is how did this high school drop out land a $200k job and a top secret security clearance. And how, after only three months on the job manage to grab the secrets he leaked to Greenwald. Both Snowden and Greenwald show clear signs of narcissism, but it’s unclear how that bears on their actions. But the interesting aspects are how Libertarians and civil libertarians are both outraged about the government invasion of their privacy, and how so many are saying they figured this was going on all along and are ok with it.
In 1999 Scott McNealy, CEO and co-founder of Sun Microsystems and Libertarian said:
You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.
For those not familiar with Sun Microsystems, they were pioneers in workstation and networking technology. Their motto was: “The network is the computer.”
McNealy was prescient. Google reads your email and tracks your searches. Those loyalty cards you have track your purchases. Web browsers keep “cookies” on your computer which track information on individual sites.
As to Snowden, when he got his security clearance he signed a non-disclosure agreement. The agreement states that any un-authorized disclosure of classified information could result in being tried for treason.