Snowden's noble deed was a clear-eyed attempt to uphold the Constitution. The highest law of the land that he followed is more than a rhetorical ideal. His conviction is based on the premise that the Constitution was written for the people. It starts out "We the People" -not We the Kings, or We the Presidents. It indicates that people are to be the authors of their own society. Snowden gave information to people in the world, especially to Americans to see what their own government is doing, because he believed people need to be informed. During the Guardian's Q and A session, he noted how "the consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed."
After moving to Hong Kong, Snowden said in the interview with the South China Morning Post "I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality. My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate." His actions and words clearly speak of his faith in the people and that their conscience alone can determine justice and the direction of the future. Leaking the truth through courageous acts of these ordinary people is what stirs vital public debate.
We are standing at a truly significant moment in history. From Ellsberg to Manning to Snowden, whistleblowers that stand up for the public interest show how courage is contagious. We now have a great opportunity to open the court of public opinion. In the end, fear will never prevail.