The title of an article in The Diplomat is “Has Snowden killed Internet freedom?”
Whatever one thinks of Mr. Snowden’s actions or motives, one of his most lasting legacies in ousting these programs is likely to be severely setting back the cause of Internet freedom in the international community. Although the U.S. and the U.K. are likely to still advocate for the same causes— probably by trying to draw stark distinctions between their actions versus those of countries like Russia, Iran, and China—these pleas will almost certainly be dismissed outright by other countries, who will note—quite rightly—that they reek of hypocrisy. As a result, states and inter-governmental organizations are likely to gain even more control over what has long been thought of as a stateless entity.
There is little doubt that the struggle to keep governments away from controlling the Internet has suffered a grievous setback. But the culprit is not Snowden; it is the NSA who did the surveillance; and it is the US Government that publicly declared open season on the communications of non-Americans on the Internet.