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Anti-authoritarian data leaker Edward Snowden is officially seeking the warm embrace of Russia, a country known for disappearing journalists and running a propaganda arm in the guise of a public media station. He’s also deliberately withheld the most damning information about how the National Security Agency actually operates. Yet, even if Snowden joined the Russian KGB, his exposé of highly controversial U.S. spying programs would be just as valuable.

The value for civil liberties does not rise and fall with the behavior of a 29-year-old fugitive. Edward Snowden, the man, doesn’t matter, because the debate over government spying is about an idea, not a personality.

The Case Against Snowden

“My tolerance for Edward Snowden has run out,” declared Kurt Eichenwald in Vanity Fair. “A man outraged by American surveillance and who advocates free expression toddles happily to Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China? Then off to Moscow?…

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