Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis edges out Edward Snowden to become TIME's Person of the Year

Posted by on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Pope Francis
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TIME magazine has named Pope Francis their Person of the Year for 2013.

Editor Nancy Gibbs writes in this week's issue that the publication chose the new pope (the first pope selected as Person of The Year since Pope John Paul II in 1994) because , "In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power."

Coming in second was the man that we wrote yesterday should be the Person of the Year, Edward Snowden. TIME's Michael Scherer discusses in this video why he's worthy of such attention:

In an interview with Time conducted with Snowden earlier this month, the former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor for the NSA says he believes that the privacy of regular citizens is a universal right, and says the dangers of mass surveillance litter the dark corners of the 20th century.

“The NSA is surely not the Stasi,” he argued, in reference to the notorious East German security service, “but we should always remember that the danger to ­societies from security services is not that they will spontaneously decide to embrace mustache twirling and jackboots to bear us bodily into dark places, but that the slowly shifting foundation of policy will make it such that mustaches and jackboots are discovered to prove an operational advantage toward a necessary purpose.”

The President,” Snowden wrote, “could plausibly use the mandate of public knowledge to both reform these programs to reasonable standards and direct the NSA to focus its tremendous power toward developing new global technical standards that enforce robust end-to-end security, ensuring that not only are we not improperly surveilling individuals but that other governments aren’t either.”

Coming in third in POY is Edith Windsor. She's the "Windsor" in the U.S v. Windsor lawsuit that came before the U.S. Supreme Court last year challenging the U.S. federal interpretation of "marriage" and "spouse" applying only to heterosexual unions in Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In late June the Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment."

Coming in fourth for POY is Syria's "lethal tyrant" as Time describes him, President Bashar al-Assad.

And fifth is Ted Cruz. Enough said there.

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