The Curious Case of Edward Snowden Essay

The Curious Case of Edward Snowden Essay

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There are many media reports available regarding classified intelligence leaks. One example is Edward Snowden’s unauthorized disclosure (UD) of classified information to the media. Snowden claims his conscience could no longer allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedoms, and basic liberties for Americans and others around the world (Greenwald, MacAskill, and Potras 2013). There is a range of supporters from a former United States (US) Senator, Foreign lawmakers to other various groups and US citizens that consider Snowden as a hero, or whistleblower. On the other hand, many see Snowden as a traitor (Ferran 2013, Miller 2013, Nelson 2013). As a result, germane to the Snowden case of UD of classified information is his standing.
One problem is that UD of classified information breaks the law. According to Title 18 of US code and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, disclosure of classified information is an illegal act (Cornell Law 2012). Regardless what his motivation was, Snowden broke the law. A second problem is these leaks damage national security. To be precise, UDs negatively affect the Intelligence Communities (IC) ability to fulfill its mission. As well, UDs aid our adversaries and damages foreign relations (Office of the Director of National Intelligence 2011). What is different about the Snowden case, compared to past leaks, is a debate concerning his status. In other words, several in America as well as around the world see Snowden as a hero or a whistleblower. Is Snowden a hero? Is Snowden a whistleblower?
Purpose and Plan
Improper disclosure of classified information is illegal and may cause up to exceptionally grave damage to America. This qualitative paper ide...


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...rs/2013/07/16/bipartisan-peanut-gallery-snowden-supporters-add-former-gop-senator-to-their-ranks (accessed December 21, 2013).
Richelson, Jeffrey T. 2013. “The Snowden Affair.” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book, no 463. http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB436/ (accessed December 21, 2013).
US Congress. 2012. “Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s743enr/pdf/BILLS-112s743enr.pdf (accessed December 26, 2013).
US Secretary of Defense. 2012. “Deterring and Preventing Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information.” http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/dod/osd101812.pdf (accessed December 26, 2013).
The office of the Director of National Intelligence. 2011. “Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information.” http://www.ncix.gov/training/WBT/docs/UDB_091211.pdf (accessed December 21, 2013).

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