Tuesday, June 03, 2014

“No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald – Deeper into the Snowden Affair

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald – book cover
The Edward Snowden affair which has erupted recently is certainly a huge wake-up call to the entire world, showing that our surveillance methods are rapidly approaching Orwellian standards. Unfortunately, it is obvious that the entirety of what Snowden had to reveal still didn’t make its way into the open, and the full consequences of his actions still unknown.

In No Place to Hide, author and journalist Glenn Greenwald details his ten-day trip to Hong Kong, where he personally met Edward Snowden who passed him a lot of vital and sensitive information which corroborated his claims about the NSA.

In other words, he met with Snowden the informant, and in this book he discusses the whole process of it, the information he received and what its implications are. Of course, he doesn’t simply transcribe what happened and leaves it at that. Rather, he probes deeper, examining the implications on our society of the kind of surveillance documented in those files and makes a strong case for the NSA being an abusive entity with far too much power entrusted in them.

Greenwald then goes above and beyond the NSA, looking at the mass media from a more general perspective, criticizing them for not serving the interests of the people, for facilitating this unethical surveillance system. In the end, he questions how healthy a country and its people can truly be when the government is intrusively shoving its face into the lives of every single person; can democracy be preserved in the digital age?

As you can imagine, if the NSA is an organism which interests you to some extent (and it should, considering how far-reaching it is), then I don’t need to tell you that you cannot afford to pass up on this book. Greenwald is a very “to-the-point” kind of writer who also has some very interesting reflective capabilities. He doesn’t really dwell much on the fanciness of it all, though he does take care to write simply, elegantly and as entertainingly as possible.

This is a book where you are going to be getting facts upon facts, coupled with interpretations and reflections on their implications. It probably won’t be the funniest or most thrilling read you've ever head, but it will send chills down your spine because of the reality it describes, a reality we all live in.

The information provided in this book is certainly rather revelatory, with much of it seemingly being new. In the end though, this evidence really only serves as further proof of the NSA being a power-abusive organization, a pitiless machine that can see what each and every single one of us does, depriving us of any true sense of privacy so primordial to a dignified existence.

All in all, I definitely recommend you read this book, no matter what your taste is, especially if you are living in the United States. It touches on an extremely important subject, and citizens of the United States already ought to be severely concerned about it… and those who live outside of it, well, it’s only a matter of time before the idea spreads and takes root. Things like this need to be stopped as soon as possible lest they overtake humanity forever, and the first step towards doing that is learning about them.

Glenn Greenwald (March 6, 1967)

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is an author, lawyer and journalist from America. He was a columnist for numerous publications, on top of which he worked as a constitutional and civil rights litigator, and as one can imagine, much of his writing focuses on nonfiction and is charged with legal and political commentary, with some of his better-known works including How Would a Patriot Act? and A Tragic Legacy.

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