Edward Snowden is a hero to some and a traitor to others.
The documentary “Citizenfour” delves into the life of Edward Snowden after being extradited from the United States. The goal of the piece is to demonstrate that Snowden isn’t the monster that many perceive him to be. While U.S. officials swear that he’s a traitor, Snowden believes that he did a service to the public by exposing secret government documents. Essentially, he says that the government has lied and hid important information from the public, which puts the public at a disadvantage.
The documentary in itself is an engaging watch from start to finish. Seeing journalist Glenn Greenwald have to secretly meet with Snowden in Hong Kong shows how intense of a target Snowden had (has) on his back. Privacy is a major and recurrent theme in Citizenfour. Snowden regularly discords his hotel phone and talks about how many methods the government can use to track you. He believes that the government has been successfully monitoring people to a point where people aren’t really free. The Patriot Act, which was enacted after 9/11, was made to increase surveillance on people of suspicion to the government. This grew into a mass surveillance in the United States which Snowden argues goes far beyond its initial purpose.
The Edward Snowden controversy has been covered intensely over the years. There is a good chance that he will never be allowed in the United States again, and he has accepted this. Doing what his conscious told him to do was worth the sacrifice.