To the editor: Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is featured on The Times' Op-Ed page as a hero and a whistle-blower, and some people think he will come to be honored for the fact that he disclosed classified information to several media outlets about the surveillance programs of the federal government. ("With millennials gaining influence, surveillance reform is inevitable," op-ed, April 20)
American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero writes of the generational gap in support for Snowden, with most millennials viewing him very positively, indicating that surveillance reform in this country is inevitable.
It may be that Snowden did just what he should have done as a tough-minded American patriot. My take is that he fled our country to avoid accountability for his actions. In my view, this makes him a coward undeserving of praise or even positive attention.
As a country we need to concentrate on minimizing the damage he did to our national security by disclosing the NSA's surveillance activities, and to bring him to account for what he did. Let a court of law decide whether Snowden is one of the good guys.
Doug Tennant, Dana Point
To the editor: Knowing that Google, Apple, AOL and Facebook, as members of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, sent a letter to Congress calling for an end to bulk data collection only reinforces their hypocrisy in appealing to the ignorance of a group of young people while they themselves engage in the very conduct they complain about.
Just as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook blasted Indiana for some imagined discrimination against gays and lesbians while he continues to do billions of dollars worth of business with countries like Saudi Arabia, which punishes homosexuals with prison time or even death, the members of this coalition now opposed to the government collection of data simultaneously
put location software in your cellphones so they know where you are at all times. They can, if you're walking in a mall, send you an ad for the next store you will pass.
Steve Vien, San Pedro
To the editor: It seems there are two Snowden stories.
There's the one millennials, those who are 18 to 34 years old, hear from the media and the ACLU, which say he is a whistle-blower who tried to protect their privacy from the government (even though they surrender it freely every day to social media sites).
The other story is one in which the law is upheld, where no private citizen has the right to decide what classified information should be disclosed to our enemies.
Maybe the voting age should be raised to 35.
Alan Segal, San Diego
To the editor: I am far from being a millennial, having been born in 1936.
Nevertheless, at 79, I do consider Snowden to be one of the true patriots that this country has fortunately produced in the last decade. His disclosures embarrass only those for whom the light of truth illuminates their misdeeds.
This senior citizen salutes you, Mr. Snowden. You're definitely (and defiantly) not alone.
Tom Pontac, Seal Beach
To the editor: The millennials don't care much about privacy. If they did, they would step away from the keyboard and stop sending asinine selfies or posting about their "amazing" lives.
Stephany Yablow, North Hollywood