Snowden effect: “The increased awareness of the extent and scope of illegal or excessive surveillance in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations; the increased desire to be protected from such surveillance.” (Source: Word Spy.)
Paul McFedries of Word Spy traces the origin of “Snowden effect” to the title of a June 10, 2013, article in Esquire by Charles P. Pierce. Pierce wrote:
It seems as though the surveillance stepped up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. I don’t recall anyone warning about that in the immediate aftermath. If you want to see what effect, if any, Edward Snowden’s revelations have had on the country, and on what it’s doing to itself, look for it there. I would almost guarantee you that you won’t like what you see.
Edward Snowden is the 31-year-old American technology contractor who in June 2013, while working in Hawaii for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, disclosed thousands of classified government documents to the media. Since August 2013 Snowden has been living in Russia, where he was recently granted a three-year renewal of asylum.
The Google Trends graph for “Snowden effect” shows several spikes since June 2013 and a drop in citations since May 2014. In fact, there have been several mentions of the term in August 2014 alone: see “For German, Swiss Privacy Startups, a Post-Snowden Boom” (Wall Street Journal “Digits” blog, August 20); “The Snowden Effect: Yahoo to Join Gmail in Offering Users End-to-End Encryption” (Forbes, August 7); and “Facebook’s Security Chief on the Snowden Effect, Messenger App Backlash, and Staying Optimistic” (Washington Post “The Switch” blog, August 12).