Edward Snowden Ethical Issues

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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
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He put his whole life and career at risk by being a whistleblower. He was able to divulge to the public the illegal activities of the NSA in the collection of many private information transmitted through the internet. His intention was to inform everyone about the violation of the NSA in the rights of every internet user for freedom. This so-called “internet- and telecommunications-liberty” was deprived when the US government launched the PRISM…show more content…
Snowden’s actions proved his incompetence as a professional. He basically took all the files and dumped them on newspapers doorsteps. If his intentions were for the government to reform the NSA activities so they protected civil liberties more, he would have stayed at the agency longer and collected more information and carefully presented it to the people who do the changes, not to the public.

2. Snowden harmed the relationship between the US and its allies.

Snowden first leaked the documents in June 2013. Some documents included information on American espionage efforts against enemies. Others revealed how the NSA was spying on its allies as well. When Snowden leaked the information, it didn’t just make the enemies hate the US further, but it also harmed the relationship it had with its ally countries. Aside from that, terrorist groups already have an idea on how the intelligence activities were performed, not only by the US, but also its ally countries such as Australia and UK. Details will be discussed further in the next argument.

3. The leaking of NSA information made terrorists informed of the counter terrorism measures of the United States of
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