Former CIA and NSA employee Edward Snowden has been living in exile in Russia. He defends his leak of classified documents as necessary to protect democracy. American law professor Larry Lessig and Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir travel to Moscow to meet him.
Snowden discusses leaking information to show how the United States government abuses power. Lessig explains how the Electoral College is a loss of individual freedom; Iceland's political system allows citizens to directly create policy.
Lessig questions why any of them still believe in democracy and politics. Media coverage of an election can strongly influence how people vote. The American political system has a narrow limit on what topics can be seriously discussed.
Snowden believes the public’s access to information weakens democracy. Regardless whether the information is, it affects the public and how they operate within democracy.
The United States did not react as Snowden hoped they would after his leak. The public focused more on him disrupting the structure of society than unconstitutional mass surveillance.
Lessig compares doing the right thing to jumping off a cliff into the unknown. Snowden believes people think that changing a corrupt system is not worth the cost.
Lessig believes political reformers must accept the risks associated with changing a political system. Jonsdottir thinks people need to stop fearing change.
Credits: Meeting Snowden
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As a former CIA and NSA collaborator, Edward Snowden leaked the biggest mass surveillance scandal of the century. A secret meeting between him and global freedom and civil rights campaigners, Birgitta Jonsdottir and Larry Lessig turns into a freewheeling discussion about the future of democracy. Russian hints that the country could hand over America's most wanted whistle blower as a favor to Donald Trump place Snowden in even greater danger than before. Jonsdottir is a member of Iceland’s parliament; all her actions have been aimed at giving the people their voice back and opening up the parliamentary process and political decision-making. Lessig is a Harvard law professor. He tirelessly denounces the influence of money in US politics and the way establishment elites collude to support each other against the public interest. The three activists agreed to be filmed during an extraordinary conversation about their ongoing struggles, the last bastions of democracy and the opportunities and choices still left to us. The questions they ask are fundamental. Can democracy be saved? What unites us? How can you tell when democracy has failed?
Length: 49 minutes
Copyright date: ©2017
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