All kinds of “conservatives” — establishment Republicans, libertarians and Tea Party members — are at CPAC. It is no surprise, then, that the attendees have conflicting ideas when it comes to privacy vs. security. This morning at CPAC panel debated security and privacy — which is more important, and is it possible to have a balance between both?
One of Ed Snowden’s allies, Bruce Fein, kicked off the conversation saying that Snowden is not a traitor, but a patriot. He said, “All of you in the audience, all of us up here, we have had our telephone calls collected and stored in a database, without any knowledge.”
He pointed out that the Constitutional right of Americans is to be left alone. “We don’t need to give a reason to be left alone. Rather, the government needs to give us a reason why we shouldn’t be left alone.”
The former Governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore, vehemently disagreed with Fein and said, “Edward Snowden is a traitor.” He repeated, “Edward Snowden is a traitor. He betrayed our trust.”
Many in the audience booed at Gilmore during his remarks.
Charlie Kirk, the youngest individual on the panel, represented . He said, “Every single tweet, snap chat, and call is being collected and analysed. And when we’re in a culture where you’re being punished for what you believe… That should worry everyone.” The left has failed at the privacy argument, Kirk said. He pointed out that President Obama previously gave a speech where he stressed the importance of privacy, and then subsequently encouraged everyone to sign up for Obamacare on the federal exchange, which has been criticized for compromising citizens’ private information.
“There is a secrecy line that the government has crossed, especially with the younger generation,” Kirk said.