The lines between morally justifiable and morally culpable are blurred, and judgment varies from individual to individual. In the present, no one’s actions have had such a variance in public perception as those of Edward Snowden. Whether his release of NSA documents revealing a worldwide, U.S. based collection of electronic data is a massive breach in security or a courageous crusade to protect the privacy of Americans has been the subject of much debate. More recently partisan protests have dotted the country for innumerable reasons. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out several qualifications that necessitated civil disobedience, aware that “[i]n any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action” (King “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”).
Snowden, who was a computer systems contractor, worked for the National Security Agency and revealed to the public how the American Government was spying on its own citizens and foreigners. Snowden was committed to the truth which allowed him to reason and understand the difference between what is right and what is legal. Snowden was convinced that the truth requires an individual to do the right thing and not necessarily what is legal. However, doing the right thing could sometimes require an individual to break the law.
The main issue in the Snowden controversy is the conflicting rights of private individuals and the US government with regard to the use of telecommunications and the internet. There are ethical issues surrounding this controversy and the most applicable ethical approach for this case is “Ethics by Rights Approach”. As a background, the reason why US government had declared Edward Snowden a traitor is his involvement in the leaking of about 1.7 million confidential US documents, 15,000 Australian intelligence files and 58,000 British intelligence files from the National Security Agency (or NSA) to the public. These confidential information were acquired by the NSA through the PRISM program by collaborating with big internet companies such
A few weeks later, these documents were released by The Guardian, and Edward Snowden was the reliable source. Now, people all over knew that the United States Government was spying on its own people through messages, internet searches, browser history, smart T.V’s and many many more. This case is ongoing, as he seeks asylum in other countries. This newfound information raises the question, is Mr. Snowden a traitor, or did he save us all by “blowing the whistle” to warn us about the unconstitutional collection of our private possessions protected by
The government debated about Snowden being considered a traitor or patriot of the country. The definition of a traitor is a person who is guilty of treason or treachery in betraying friends, country, family, etc. Definition of Treason is the crime of betraying one's country, by attempting to kill, sovereign, overthrow the government, or giving aid and/or comfort to the enemies government. Snowden was not giving aid or comfort to America’s enemies, unless the citizens of America are considered the enemy to the
The majority of leak cases, “the leaker is a whistleblower disclosing potential government wrong doing” (Freivogel, 2009). According to Derigan Silver’s article, National Security and the Press, “the Department of Justice is committed to investigating and prosecuting leaks of classified information, and Congress has given the department the statutory tools to do so”, which includes statutes prohibiting “unauthorized disclosure of certain categories of classified information”, disclosure of information relation to national defense, and information relating to communications intelligence activities (Silver, 2008). To prevent unauthorized information making on the newspaper, the government and the journalists must, a cooperative and responsible relationship. That the press must “routinely ask the government for guidance on the ramifications of the national security information in their possession and frequently have withheld stories or limited their scope in order to soften their impact” (Papandrea, 2011).
For example, Edward Snowden exposed the National Security Agency for eavesdropping on Americans and people around the world, despite the possibility of being arrested and charged with heavy crimes. " So, what did the leaks tell us? First, they confirmed that the U.S. government, without obtaining any court warrants, routinely collects the phone logs of tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of Americans, who have no links to terrorism whatsoever,"(Source 3). The question is who is truly at fault? The government for doing that or Snowden for ratting them out to the public about
Stop! Look around you for a second. What do you see? I see the government in every security camera I walk by. I see the government at every turn in an airport or at a sports game. They are everywhere I look. There are very little places now a day that you have privacy. It is getting very scary for our future because of the direction we are heading. It is getting to the point that everyone is living in fear. I would agree that security is good, but not when I can’t live a single day without thinking am I being watched.
John F. Kennedy Secrecy, when used in the context of the Constitution, is an important safeguard for our nation’s interests. It protects America from the stealing of national security information by foreign enemies bent on the destruction of our form of government. It protects the lives of our service men and women who serve on the front lines of war. It protects the lives of intelligence assets who have chosen to assist our country in the defense of democracy. But, secrecy is a powerful weapon and must be under the appropriate controls.
Why did a government surveillance official lie to America? In March 2015, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared the National Security Agency (NSA) does not “collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans” (Engler). Then Edward Snowden revealed that truthfully, plenty of data was being collected and surveyed by the government through the bulk collection of private phone information. James Clapper later stated he “misunderstood the question” (Engler). Not only does this spark rage, but also reveals that the government has been using its resources to data mine at the ignorance of citizens, where a computer algorithm tries to find potential threats in hopes of stopping terrorism.
Espionage has been utilized as a tactic throughout the world for many centuries. The height of intelligence and counterintelligence organizations peaked during the Cold War, because there was an increase in the amount of government funding and resources devoted to espionage. The Cold War was a period of continuous political and military tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both nations had opposing ideologies, different views on capitalism and communism, and wanted power for global supremacy. For this reason, the Soviet Union employed espionage, fearing that capitalist nations would bring the downfall of communism. Soviet espionage was organized and ran by the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (Комитет Государственной
Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau both use the same kinds of rhetorical strategies in their writing to achieve similar purposes, although they target completely opposite audiences. In both Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government” and King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, logical appeals are scattered throughout to strengthen their arguments. Thoreau says in his essay, “It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.” Thoreau deduces that if corporations are made up of men, and men have consciences, then corporations are therefore conscientious.
In some paragraph, the author will give his own opinion. His opinions are straight to the point. We can understand what he tries to tell us through his word. From some specific words, we can also feel the state of mind of author, whether he is angry, happy or sad. One of the wonderful parts of this article is the question that asked by author.