I am only posting this piece as an illustration of a liberal take on the issue of government surveillance. While in the past I have been aware of how this and other liberal media sources function to limit critical examination of ruling class policies and actions, I still try to approach their articles with an open mind to glean valuable information that they sometimes provide.
The first cue that the author was engaging in arguments to protect the ruling class was when he first used the term "bad guys"; and following that, how Snowden's revelations helped them.
...this is truly information that plenty of bad guys probably didn't know, and probably didn't have much of an inkling about. ....
Now every bad guy in the world knows for a fact that commercial crypto won't help them, and the ones with even modest smarts will switch to strong crypto techniques that remain unbreakable. It's still a pain in the ass, but it's not that big a pain in the ass.Clearly, the author buys into ruling class propaganda about "evil doers" and what logically follows from that assumption--a domestic police state combined with an aggressive foreign policy. He functions like a ruling class operative by framing Snowden's revelations this way. I would not be surprised to learn that he is on the payroll of the CIA, FBI, or NSA while writing for a liberal publication that hides behind the image of the real, historical Mother Jones, an IWW activist, who risked her life to help miners in 1914 at the Rockefeller coal mine in Ludlow, Colorado, and many other workers in actions across the US.
Whether he is a liberal who identifies with the capitalist ruling class or a sociopathic journalist on the payroll of a government "security" service, the intent is to limit the damage that the revelations may have had on many people who were shocked by them and have started to question government policies. Judging by the comments following the article, many people were not deterred from questioning government surveillance.