The joke is that anyone who is truly qualified to run for office doesn't want the job.
I hope that the more leaks like this that come out, more qualified people will realize they can't just stand by idly thinking the system will just fix itself.
I imagine Snowden leaks alone have gotten far more "qualified" people engaged in civic activities than we'll ever truly comprehend, and have taken a bit of the "fear of rebellion" out of those who might not have spoken up in the past.
You wish. The reactions vary from 'oh, I knew that all along' to 'well, no matter what I do, the spying will continue' and a whole bunch of shades in between. Then there are those that see Snowden as the great evil (yes, let's shoot that messenger) and would like to see him suffer.
On the whole the effect of Snowden's revelation is a big disappointment, I thought far more would happen because of them but maybe I'm just too impatient.
It's a far different thing to call out your government and demand something when there's no concrete evidence to support your claims in the first place. Now governments must take citizen demands seriously, and people can now pursue these things without fear they're just spinning their wheels, because we've seen real evidence.
It's these kind of people, the ones who realize it means nothing to talk about something unless you're actually going to do something about it, who I'm talking about. My belief is leaks like this have the power to change enough people to make a real difference in the future of civilization on Earth.
And keep in mind. I didn't mention in my original comment, but Snowden leaks are something that as far as I'm concerned could warrant being required reading in undergraduate history textbooks (core curriculum). I think it was the kind of historical event that will continue to affect Earth's inhabitants centuries after we're all gone.
I have similar sentiments for similar reasons you list. I also tend to find the battle that people seem to create of "privacy vs security" to be sucking up all the air in the room of plausible ideas that can change the status quo and bring upon more effective societies, with namely corporate sponsors and individuals within governments reaping the benefits (effectively status quo) with most individuals in a given society mostly being taken on a ride with no true internalization of how any of it will enrich their life at best or end up dead from mostly being a function of where they happened to be born at worst.
I guess in saying that, it's not too surprising that I see that using technology to subvert our present collective individual behaviors that takes advantage of how we operate today could break the apparent deadlock in a way we might not expect to unfold (with the ethics in mind of how some ways of going about such could just enable more of the same).
Seriously. I can't imagine how something like this, or Snowden's docs, could have leaked in the pre-internet days. It's so easy to replicate & distribute information now, and the process by which stories make the "front page" is so democratic.
No imagination needed.
The Pentagon Papers, Deepthroat, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Hutchinson Letters, Mordechai Vanunu, and The Iran–Contra affair all predated the internet. Thats just off the top of my head.
2) Doesn't it stand to reason that papers that are more significant than those that were previously published are almost certain to be published, given that papers of lesser importance were published?
Stakes are higher when there's more significant information to be published, so I would say it's not necessarily obvious to me that more significant information is more likely to be published.
It's possible that in this day and age no US papers would have picked up the story, limiting its impact in the US. However, a story this large and important would have been picked up in the 1970's, just as the Pentagon Papers and other such stories were.
You've heard about the Pentagon Papers? The NSA domestic surveillance documents were at least as big as the Pentagon Papers. They would have been national news.