From my limited perspective, I have found that academic activism can be a source of delight offering a sense of connectedness that is rare in academic work. It is also daunting. Activism can be as frustrating as it is satisfying. Making peace with this ambivalence early on is probably a good idea.
Micah Lee is a technical specialist in operational security, source protection, privacy, and cryptography. He is also a founding and board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a journalist at the investigative news organization The Intercept. Regarding his commitment to the Snowden revelations, Mashable Spotlight (Franceschi-Bicchierai, 2014) called him the ‘digital bodyguard’ of the NSA leaks.
What matters about whistleblowers [is] not that we should respond to them in a particular way but that they compel such serious attention, forcing us, as we respond, to confront some of our most fundamental ethical assumptions. (Brown, 1987: 10, cited in Contu, 2014: 403)