We're now two years on from the revelations about government surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed to the world, and to coincide with the anniversary the man himself has written a piece for the New York Times hailing progress since.
"Two years on, the difference is profound.", Snowden says, "In a single month, the N.S.A.’s invasive call-tracking program was declared unlawful by the courts and disowned by Congress. After a White House-appointed oversight board investigation found that this program had not stopped a single terrorist attack, even the president who once defended its propriety and criticized its disclosure has now ordered it terminated. This is the power of an informed public."
He goes on to talk about how many big tech firms are now routinely encrypting their data as customers have become more worried, adding that "Such structural technological changes can ensure access to basic privacies beyond borders, insulating ordinary citizens from the arbitrary passage of anti-privacy laws, such as those now descending upon Russia."
(Russia, of course, is where Snowden has been forced to live to avoid the wrath of the US government. So top marks to him for not being afraid to criticise his hosts.)
Perhaps most embarrassing for any Brits reading, it turns out that Snowden has seen the idiotic remarks by our own Prime Minster, David Cameron, when he donned his Dr Doom mask and said "for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: As long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone."
The good news though is that Snowden seems to be optimistic for the future, ending by saying that "With each court victory, with every change in the law, we demonstrate facts are more convincing than fear. As a society, we rediscover that the value of a right is not in what it hides, but in what it protects."