Why I Gave Up My Citizenship
So many people in the past month once they get to know me have asked me why I renounced my US citizenship and moved back to Russia. This has been no simple thing to answer, as it is a large combination of factors. I’ll explain as best I can here:
When I was back in the West, I worked for the federal government in a privileged position. This job gave me wide access to information about events going on around the world. On the surface, this would seem like a good job(and at first, it was an amazing job!) – unless you actually do the type of work we did.
There is a quote that says “with great power comes great responsibility”, and I fully agree with that. But with that responsibility also comes a dark side – you begin to look at your fellow man, both at home and on the other side of the world, in a different light. When you see the evil they are capable of in the darkest of hours, it really makes you start to think about what good (if any) you are doing in the world – and by extension, what laws you had to break or moral codes you shattered in order to do so “for the greater good”.
Many of you in the US have heard of the Patriot Act. Those of you outside the United States have usually been on the pointy end of the legislation, whether it be CIA torture of suspected terrorists or if you’re not a terrorist, then having all your communications anywhere in the world intercepted.
Following 9/11, it is thanks to the Patriot Act that I had the job I had for eight years. During that time, I had the opportunity to travel the world and see lots of interesting and exotic (and many not-so-exotic!) locales. I met many amazing people, yet it was the overreaching of the US Government in their interpretation of the Patriot Act, specifically as it applied to us and our work, Title II (Enhanced Surveillance Procedures) and Title IX (Improved Intelligence) that was one of the final straws for me.
The other issue that assisted in my turning in my work badge, moving, and ultimately, my passport, was the Police Militarisation in America, via the Department of Defense’s 1033 Programme. Several notable incidents rang out across America, thus bringing this programme to light in late 2014.
While I had sworn an oath to protect the United States and her national interests, I could not, in good conscience, continue to abuse the powers vested in us through misinterpretation of a law from 2001. Throughout my career, I prided myself on always taking a neutral stance on issues – having the ability to be non-partisan and see both sides of the story.
If anybody would like to converse privately about any of the issues here, my PGP public key is included below, as well as on my “About” page.