Simples: WIkileaks publish leaks
They recently published a leak of the Russian intelligence services internet monitoring capability. They seem to be consistently anti-side and publish what they are provided.
They weren't chosen to publish the Snowden leaks, but the reality is most people do not realize their internet activities are constantly monitored - not everybody reads the Guardian over here in Europe. If they had published it, could we argue it would lead to a free-er society? I'm not so sure. But I do think Wikileaks have proven invaluable in leaking what whistleblowers wish. Some have political or short term motives, but whistleblowing is important.
Are any professional highly paid IT pundits here suggesting that we shouldn't have been informed of the extent of surveillance? Obama said they were recording metadata ONLY. It seems they are logging ALL data about everyone in massive data centers throughout the world. This is entirely dangerous to our civility, liberty and future - we just don't realize the magnitude of this yet.
The media have successfully made people think of Assange when they think of Wikileaks. Instead I think of corruption, government betrayal to their voters and mass monitoring of domestic and foreign peoples. Still, let's focus on the guy with a questionable haircut and poor taste in word-choice shall we?