ethical oversight

For some reason I was reminded, this morning, of a discussion a few years ago post-Snowden, where an acquaintance of mine who had worked in the intelligence field spoke at great length, and passionately, about why Snowden had been wrong to leak the surveillance information that he did. His reasons were (roughly) matters of trust inside intelligence agencies, safety of intelligence officers, necessity of some secrets being kept, and possibly a couple other things I’m now forgetting.

It was well reasoned and well written and I fundamentally understood and agreed with his arguments. It was a rare occasion where I could understand and agree and also think he was totally wrong.

We must have had an actual discussion about it, because in the end he told me that the intelligence communities needed people like me working in ethical oversight, so that people like Snowden would have somewhere to go. (And then it’d be me leaking the information and living in Russia, I suppose.)

The part I found odd about it, anyway, was that it wasn’t the first time I’d been told I’d make a good candidate for ethical oversight; one of my high school science teachers told me a while ago that she’d always kind of thought I’d end up doing that sort of thing for animal testing (and I have no idea what I said or did in her classes to make her think that!). Apparently I come across as highly ethical.

You people clearly have no idea what I would do with superpowers, is all I’m sayin’. :)

(My husband and my friend Emily do, though. In a discussion of such things, it was instantly agreed that Ted would obviously be a superhero, and Emily practically is one already. When it came to me, though, they both fell silent for a moment before Emily said, “Well, Catie wouldn’t be a *villain*…”)