In case you haven’t already heard, just yesterday 2 Norwegian lawmakers nominated National Security Administration leaker Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sighting that “Snowden has revealed the nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance,” and by doing so has contributed to peace.”
First, I am not a security specialist nor am I an outspoken supporter of what Snowden did. From what I can gather, he has broken more U.S. laws than I can probably count and therefore I understand why he has been identified as an enemy to U.S. National security.
On the other hand, the way the world has responded to Snowden with leaders of many sovereign nations such as Norway or in the case of Russia supporting Snowden’s misgivings makes a pretty big statement as to the world sentiment toward transparency.
Connecting Transparency to the Snowden Nomination
As citizens of the United States, it is almost a part of our existence to be lied to. I’m sure this is similar for citizens of other countries, but I have no basis of comparison.
Brands lie to us, politicians lie to us, heck even our parents (many of them) lie to us. Turns out, the tooth fairy isn’t real, Gatorade isn’t good for you and the government is going to spy on whoever they want and that is that.
Oh well, tough nuts. That is the way it is and we learn to move on with it.
Really, I think what these Norwegian lawmakers and so many others are trying to say is, haven’t we hit a point in our lives where people are entitled to know the truth about many of the things that directly affect them?
Anyhow, I’m not suggesting that we need to know why the government does what they do. I understand that there are a whole bunch of things we don’t need to know.
What I am suggesting is that at some level they let us in on what they are doing so when we ultimately find out it isn’t such a big deal? In the age of information, it seems to only be a matter of time before just about everything is “Out there,” so why not be up front about it? I for one have no concern as I think for the most part anyone tapping my phones would quickly grow bored.
Is Transparency The Next Big Thing?
I have an overwhelming feeling that in the future transparency is going to be a major building block in how brands, politicians, educators and others drive advocacy.
With so little shock value out there anymore, those that stop hiding their imperfections may be the ones that are most well received by the public.
I don’t know where you stand, but with our civic leaders what I care most about is will they do what they say they are going to do. This goes for business leaders, religious leaders and so many others. The witch hunt to find out if some person smoked pot or got a “C’ in college doesn’t really matter to me. The question is what are they saying they are going to do, and then can they, will they and do they do it?
What Edward Snowden did was wrong on so many levels. He is risking the well being of many to share what was technically none of his business. On the other hand, he risked everything for himself to share what he believed was of importance to us as a country; in this case the freedom to know what is going on that impacts our everyday life.
Leaving the question. Is it the age of transparency? Are we as a society ready to know what is going on and will it serve our political and business leaders well to quit hiding things in an age where we almost always find out anyway?
Join the conversation below…I’d love to hear from you!