Too many drones overhead, so I decide to leave the country. I take the cool 150 bucks I’ve got saved under my mattress and go to a casino in Edmonton. The 150 quickly becomes a thousand. Whoohoo, mama needs new shoes and she gets it. The spying Gods must be shining down on me. I make my way to Alaska and catch a freighter to Russia (I was going to swim but I forgot my trunks). In Moscow I find Edward shopping at the local “Targetski.” I ask him if he’ll talk to me. He says fine. We go to a daycare centre and order a couple of vodkas. We put on our tin foil hats and both sit facing the front door.
Me: Cheers. (Eddie raises his glass). So Edward, how’s Russia been?
Ed: Great. The people are nice. But the weather is a little colder than Hawaii. Man, I miss the ocean. But the vodka is outstanding. You can get it anywhere – stores, daycare centres.
Me: You worked in Geneva, right?
Ed: Yea, I did a stint there.
Me: Bad memories? You had a “letter” put in your file (I use my fingers to show quotation marks).
Ed: Yea, what of it.
Me: Make you mad?
Ed: Nope, don’t really care. My boss was a grumpy dickhead. You know the expression “absolute power corrupts…”
Me: So what are you going to do after the year the Russians gave you? Cuba? Venezuela? North Korea? Iran?
Ed: Don’t know. Cuba sounds good – rum, cigars and good health care.
Me: Let’s cut to the chase. Traitor or Whistle-Blower?
Ed: I did it to help the citizens of the world. We need discussion on the topic. The government needs clear guide lines about when and why they can monitor citizens. In this age of technology, it’s too easy to collect data on citizens. You can just press a button and wham. It’s like the proverbial cookie jar. If it’s in clear sight, you’re gonna grab all the cookies you can. You don’t care about how fat you get or if they’ll kill you. Now, if your mom is in the kitchen you’re gonna be careful. You have to make sure you ask and you only get a cookie if your mom knows it won’t spoil your dinner.
Me: The cookie jar is information?
Ed: That’s right. Ten or twenty years ago it was much more difficult to get information. You needed people and equipment and a judge. Now, just press a button and you’ve got cell phone, computer, car and cameras anytime. In London there are over a million cameras. It’s just too tempting for the government. We need discussion.
Me: Have you seen Enemy of the State?
Ed: Yup, love it.
Me: Despicable me?
Ed: One or Two?
Me: Are you gonna give yourself up? You know there’s talk about a movie. Matt Damon is gonnna play you.
Ed: Really? Matt Damon? I was thinking Steve Carell.
Me: Well, Ed I gotta go. It’s a long swim back to Canada. Hey, can you spot me a couple of bucks? I need to buy a bathing suit.
Ed reached into his pocket and gave me a fist full of roubles – it worked out to five bucks. He told me to go to Targetski. It wasn’t a lot of money but enough to make it back to Canada.
It is so sad that these two encrypted sites (Lavabit and Silent Circle ) had to shut down due to government interference. They want these sites to hand over data (although it appears Silent Circle is up and running). If you can help and save democracy, please do.
Thanks to GURPS for the graphic