The revelations of Edward Snowden of at least part of the true extent of the gathering and processing of communications data by the intelligence services of many nations, most notably the US and the UK, sent shockwaves through the Internet, not least amongst those concerned with privacy. Though the information revealed relates primarily to government surveillance, the ramifications are far wider and far greater than that. It is hard to find a privacy-related issue that has not been affected by them. The behaviour and actions of people, businesses, governments and courts have all seen changes, and those changes have an impact.
The right to be forgotten is one of those issues: it may seem to have nothing to do with government surveillance but there are both direct and indirect connections between the two. The Snowden revelations have had an impact on how we understand the right to be forgotten, how the right to be forgotten is being implemented, and how we might find an appropriate future for it.