I love my country and I love the principles that my country stands for. We believe in individual freedom. We believe in free speech. We believe in limited powers of government. We believe that you are innocent until proven guilty.
When I was 16, I spent a summer living in France. This was not long after Nixon had left office after his abuse of executive powers came to light. What surprised me was the high regard that the French held for the American people because we actually did something about it.
I have been increasingly worried about the damage to our country being done by abandoning some of our dearest principles. In a recent Ted Talk, a European security expert @mikko came to a pretty obvious conclusion. He recommendation is that the rest of the world that are “foreigners” had better start developing their own technology and get off US systems as quickly as possible.
The US commitment to our principles has always been a positive differentiator. We have earned the world’s trust. That trust is now under scrutiny, not because of the Snowden revelations, but because we are not standing behind our own principles. Free speech is a founding principle of our great nation, yet I continue to read that the US government is still operating “business as usual”. Intelligence agencies continue to overuse “gag orders. The President is hedging, explaining that he supports encryption, yet uses terrorism to justify current practices.
My hope is that Citizenfour winning the award for the best documentary at the Academy Awards will act as a catalyst to remind us of our principles.