Saluting 'Forbidden Voices' who defend free speech
Brave whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and journalists often risk their lives to uncover the truth, writes Carol Hunt
AS Edward Snowden said so succinctly during Channel 4's alternative Christmas Day message: "Privacy matters. Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be."
In exposing details of electronic surveillance by US and British spy services, Snowden has ignited a debate on the value of free speech and why it must be protected.
Earlier last week the National Archives released documents relating to our own surveillance "Watergate", or what former journalist Geraldine Kennedy called "the most difficult time in my personal and professional life". Thirty years ago it was formally confirmed by the new Minister for Justice, Michael Noonan, that both Kennedy and Bruce Arnold's phones had been tapped -- Kennedy's from July to November 1982 under a new category of "national security" (she had been writing about dissent in the Fianna Fail ranks).