Edward Snowden Essay

There is a revolving door of staff going back and forth to the intelligence agencies.

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He was a low-level employee of Dell contractor at a nondescript National Security Agency site. Just one of hundreds of thousands of people working in the burgeoning national security complex in the United States - the ultimate faceless cog.

Now, one year later, he is a household name but the world remains divided on who Edward Snowden is. It turns out that question is often answered not by how people view Snowden but how they view their government.

These security clearance holders are supposed to limit their free speech to protect government secrets, an expectation that Snowden’s behavior has violated. In this version of naming Snowden, the politicians, officials, and commentators are creating a context for U. courts to maintain the current trend of valuing national security secrecy over free expression and privacy rights. Public opinion polls show that the public remains divided between calling Snowden a “hero” or “villain.” In June 2015, some provisions of the Patriot Act expired, including one that allowed the NSA to mass collect the U. Others, however, say Congress dropped the programs because they were ineffective and believe Snowden is still a villain.

As a result, these stakeholders have been attempting to make sense of Snowden’s actions by naming him either a “hero/whistleblower” or “traitor/felon.” Naming him will give meaning to his actions, suggest how U. society should respond to his behavior, and create a future for Snowden. In the two years since Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA documents, U. In all, the politicians, government officials, and media commentators are still talking about how Snowden should be named rather than debating the more intricate free speech-national security balance questions that Snowden’s disclosure raises.

For many around the world, and a growing number of Americans, Snowden is a hero and whistleblower who put his own freedom at stake to reveal shocking abuses by the US intelligence agencies.

Much of what Snowden has done certainly looks like a whistleblower.First, he does not appear to have sought money for his disclosures.Indeed, he appears to have thought more about what he was taking than where he was taking it.What is most striking is that in the wake of these disclosures, the Obama Administration first denied the allegations.National Intelligence Director James R Clapper Jr not only denied the existence of the programme before the Senate but he later explained that his testimony was "the least untrue" statement that he could make.The reactions of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry are particularly illustrative.What is clear is that Snowden pulled back the curtain on new reality of living within a fishbowl of constant surveillance.Firstly, there are exceptions under the whistleblower laws for national security information so Snowden could not use those protections.Secondly, the House and Senate oversight committees are viewed as the place that whistleblowers go to get arrested.But in the case of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, U. society has been unable to finalize a name for his June 2013 decision to release classified NSA documents. government has always had to balance the need for data collection about potential threats and operational secrecy to maintain national security with the need for governmental openness and transparency expected in a democracy. However, Snowden believes this stance is actually harming the democracy rather than protecting it.Since that day, stakeholders such as politicians, government officials, and media commentators have been debating whether Snowden’s choice to disclose the documents should be viewed as “heroic” or “villainous.” Should he be deemed a “hero” or “whistleblower” who is attempting to protect U. democratic ideals by revealing how the NSA surveillance programs threaten free speech and privacy rights? courts interpret First Amendment rights in the future. Since the events of 9/11, the balance has leaned toward increased governmental surveillance and secrecy and decreased free speech and privacy rights as necessary for protecting the U. This belief led him to release secret NSA documents showing that the agency has been collecting data on the general U. public, an action he argues has exceeded the agency’s authority and violated the public’s First and Fourth Amendment rights of free speech and privacy. public adopts this name for Snowden, then it should respond positively to Snowden’s actions and praise them. Similarly, those who view Snowden as a “felon” emphasize in their talk how Snowden has violated an employment or security contract and stolen and released classified documents that could harm the United States.


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