Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who blew the whistle on US government intelligence programmes, has inspired internet memes that place him in the ‘hero’ or ‘traitor’ camp.
Snowden faces charges in the US for disclosing details of its government internet and phone surveillance programmes, such as the National Security Agency (NSA)’s alleged PRISM programme. PRISM is said to have monitored the servers of companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple.
The 30-year-old’s actions have led some people to label him either a hero or a traitor. Hero because he has revealed the US is allegedly infringing on its citizens’ privacy, and traitor because he made public how the US allegedly monitors information for a greater good – to protect the country from terrorism.
Snowden’s story has generated numerous headlines: from his not appearing on a flight from Moscow to Cuba, to seeking asylum in 21 countries, to an Irish high court rejecting an application from the US embassy for an arrest warrant for him.
His case has also generated memes: