In American pop culture, well-known whistleblowers are like archetypal myths that play an extremely important social role. They are portrayed as brave figures who oppose the System. They almost always put their lives and private goods on the line for the common good. Many of these characters are evaluated positively over time, but there are cases that are evaluated in two ways.
Certainly, the greatest example of such a person is Edward Snowden, an American computer scientist, former CIA employee who collaborated with the National Security Agency (NSA). In 2013, Snowden revealed thousands of confidential information, secret documents and data in the American press, which confirmed the suspicions of many people that the US government is performing surveillance not only on its citizens, but also world leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In addition, the US was allegedly tracking the institutions of the European Union and the 30 most important politicians in the world. Snowden also wanted to convince people that they should not use Apple smartphones because they have integrated software that allows tracking the user. The information disclosed by Snowden was described by the press as the largest leak of classified data in the history of the United States.
The information he revealed was so controversial that it divided society, and got himself sentenced to 30 years in prison for treason. To avoid punishment, he fled the country and was granted asylum in Russia. His story was highly publicized in the media, so it is no wonder that to this day Snowden is considered one of the most significant - and certainly the most well-known - whistleblowers. His revelations about the surveillance practices of the US National Security Agency changed views on technology, privacy and intelligence of people around the world. No wonder that movie directors decided to portray the controversial figure of Snowden and put it on the big screen. In 2014 and 2016, two movies were created describing Snowden's fate as a whistleblower. An older work, Laura Poitras' Oscar-winning film “Citizenfour” is an important documentary chronicling Snowden's days in Hong Kong, making his first disclosures to journalists. By contrast, “Snowden”, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role, is less accurate and detailed, but it helps to illuminate and better understand Snowden himself.