June 29th, 2013
11:48 PM ET

Snowden and Big Data

By Fareed Zakaria

"One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty."

That was Martin Luther King Jr.'s definition of civil disobedience. It does not appear to be Edward Snowden's.

He has tried by every method possible to escape any judgment or punishment for his actions. Snowden has been compared to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. But Ellsberg did not hop on a plane to Hong Kong or Moscow once he had unloaded his cache of documents. He stood trial and faced the possibility of more than 100 years in prison before the court dismissed the case against him because of the prosecution's mistakes and abuses of justice.

For more on this read the TIME column

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soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. matslats

    What gall to judge Snowden by the standards of MLK
    You never talk about congressmen, CIA, and the president break just laws?
    You never praised Bradley manning either

    June 30, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  2. rightospeak

    What ????If the author wrote anything contrary to propaganda, he would be long gone. Remember Helen Thomas ?She had courage and was vilified in the end by vicious evil doers. One thing Snowden has is courage, which CNN "journalists" do not have. Some did have and spoke the truth and they are long gone-that much for "democracy" and impartial reporting. CNN is owned by Globalists and their reporting shows it.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:42 am |
  3. rightospeak

    More of my comments disappearing-because I mentioned Wall Street crimes and that no one went to jail . I also mentioned Nuremberg Trials and that the media seems to forget what they were all about . Maybe my comments were removed because I mentioned that Ellsberg came out before Patriot Act . You can manipulate comments but to worse end for all of us. The truth needs to get out.

    June 30, 2013 at 5:03 am |
  4. Cecil

    If Snowden have faith in America, he would not leak and run.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  5. Cecil

    America today is not the America I used to adore and love. Run run Mr. Snowden!

    June 30, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  6. Daddy Warbucks

    What do you suppose would happen to Edward Snowden in U.S. custody? Certain intimidation, punishment, and TORTURE - just like Pvt. Manning! How many innocent men are being held in our off-shore prison at Guantanamo Bay without being charged with a crime? How many of them have been authorized for release, yet remain in prison for decades by authority of some extremely mean-spirited minority leaders in Congress. MLK, Ghandi, and even Daniel Ellsberg didn't face those consequences and it is unfair too compare their situations with Edward Snowden's.

    June 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  7. Timothy Scott

    I can't watch Fareed anymore. I rarely get past his opening "My take" before I start cussing at the TV. I threw my coffee mug at the TV when he had that war criminal Kissinger on his show. Today it was the establishment talking point about Snowden should turn himself in... yeah, right. Unchallenged propaganda is not news. Fareed you are a sorry tool of the Plutocrats. I canceled my Time rag subscription long ago, I quit believing CNN was anything other than propaganda, I am done wasting any of my Sunday mornings listening to this crap.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  8. stevenbeto

    Snowden's act of fleeing the country may well indeed be what whistle-blowers on this level must do in a post-Patriot Act America, and therefore comparisons to Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. may not hold. This does not, however, discredit Mr. Zakaria's larger point on the use and importance of meta-data. If Snowden's actions accomplish anything worthwhile, it may well be in initiating an inquiry into exactly what the Patriot Act is and what The United States has become.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • ralph manjarrez

      Snowden had to run or he would never have been heard from again. Not from hi secruity prison that's for sure on the run he still has voice, and might be heard ..

      July 1, 2013 at 6:27 am |
  9. You're not Gandhi either

    Sorry you are disappointed Mr, Snowden is not Gandhi,. Maybe he's not done telling us the truth.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Judith A. Green

    Very disappointed that Zakaria cannot imagine the difference between, for example, Gandhi and MLK going to jail and a whistle-blower like Snowden who had the courage to tell the truth to power, but whose likely cruel punishment would serve no purpose, as did that of Gandhi and MLK, and Mandela. Snowden knows this, and is doing the best he can to tell his story. He deserves credit, not moralistic "take the punishment" stupidity.

    June 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  11. Javier Arnaut

    Fareed "The SELL-OUT" Zakaria

    June 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  12. Sean B.

    I don't get why everyone is so "Snowden is a hero, nuff said." Sure his story may be exciting, sure the program he revealed info. about is not something we should be doing in the scope that we're doing it, and sure he doesn't deserve the lengthy prison sentence awaiting him in our prison system- but we are a society based on laws and he needs to be prosecuted for disclosing confidential info. We can't pick and choose who to prosecute and who to not. Imagine if someone went ahead and murdered that guy who shot up the Colorado movie theater- really no one would cry for the movie theater shooter but we cannot have the person who decided to shoot the shooter go unpunished for deciding to murder someone else. Another example is what happens if some punk in the secret service decides to disclose Obama's whereabouts because he/she stops liking Obama and wants to see him killed.

    Our society, very thankfully, does not operate on the whims of individuals or the current mass popular opinion. We have the Patriot Act because we deserve it. If we were better than the Patriot Act, we would have had already had a reformed Electoral College so that Bush couldn't win in 2000 even though most people didn't vote for him and we would not have had a GOP that even allowed the incompetent Bush II to even approach the Presidency which resulted in the Patriot Act. Also, we would have spotted this NSA snooping program way, way before since it's been in the news for a long, long time and we even had Senators openly railing against it; then we would have demanded our elected representatives shut it down. That is, if we Americans were good enough to actually pay attention to the issues rather than the name of the world's newest Kardashian, (shudder).

    Snowden belongs in jail because society demands it. What Fareed was getting at, and what I fully agree with, is this: let there be the obvious injustice of Snowden in jail to prove a damned point- that we are actually that stupid. Then we can start to change. Show me an America that is just and moral and intelligent enough to correct its own problems without having them thrown in our face, and I'll die happy. In the meantime we have some rough times to go through, and Snowden should be willing to shoulder his disproportionately large share of the burden he has volunteered for by adhering to our laws to prove them unjust.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Sean B.

      And I forgot to add, in defense of Obama: if he would shrug this one off imagine how the GOP would pounce and call Obama weak and demand Snowden's head on a platter. Most things wrong with this country can be traced back to one political party, and Obama is right to safeguard the political fortune of the one reasonable party or we will all, (the entire freaking world), deal with the consequences of GOP rule.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  13. j. von hettlingen

    David Cameron justified Britain's mass data-trawling operation, leaked by Snowden, that his country operates under the rule of law and that unlike some countries, whose secret intelligence work is used to control their people – his is to protect the citizens' freedoms.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:32 am |
    • Cecil

      Like bugging allies' phones?

      July 2, 2013 at 5:53 am |
  14. Floyd Parsons

    For Fareed Zakaria in his attack on Edward Snowden to employ the names of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi as he does without reference to morality as distinct from legality is an example of his defernce to authority. Likewise concerning his reference to Daniel Ellsberg, Zakaria makes no mention of the defence of Snowden by Ellsberg himself in The Guradian on Monday, 10 June 2013. So much for responsible journalism, in which regard Zakaria might take note of the examples of Glenn Greenwald in recent months.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  15. Leo

    This man engaged in plagiarism, an ultimate sin against academic honesty and personal integrity, discrediting any and all of his opinions. As far as I'm concerned, it's takes a dishonest man, Fareed, to know a dishonest man.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  16. Muin

    Try telling a girl that you love her so much that you read her email, bugged her phone and social networking activity to keep her safe. So I don't know what U.S will tell to its allies.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:34 am |
  17. drennok

    zakaria is an NWO traitor

    July 2, 2013 at 6:17 am |
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