Edward Snowden: An American Hero

676 Words3 Pages
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (N.S.A) subcontractor turned whistle-blower is nothing short of a hero. His controversial decision to release information detailing the highly illegal ‘data mining’ practices of the N.S.A have caused shockwaves throughout the world and have raised important questions concerning how much the government actually monitors its people without their consent or knowledge. Comparable to Mark Felt in the Watergate scandals, Daniel Ellsberg with the Pentagon Papers, Edward Snowden joins the rank of infamous whistleblowers who gave up their jobs, livelihood, and forever will live under scrutiny of the public all in the service to the American people. Edward Snowden released information detailing the extent of the N.S.A breaches of American privacy and in doing so, became ostracized by the media and barred from freely reentering America, his home country. Primarily, the facts that are needed to address what exactly did Snowden wrong is what actually was inside the leaks. Edward Snowden did not dump sensitive data onto the Internet for the entire world, including enemies of America, to see. Snowden meticulously vetted the documents and data he collected to make sure that the leaks released contained only that which pertained to the N.S.A’s illegal collecting of phone logs, user data, and other private information. Even with the monitoring of overseas and foreign officials, N.S.A’s sweeping data collection technologies pulled out millions of private details from prominent U.S based internet companies, including Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. All of these activities were completed without specific warrants from courts that would otherwise either allow or deny these collections. The lack of oversi... ... middle of paper ... ...e administration plans to introduce legislation that would alter the N.S.A’s privacy breaches and end its illegal data collections. Citing an identical argument, that the government cannot indicate terrorist attacks that have been stopped by the intelligence gathering programs, a review group of the Administration “called for major changes to the program; the latter also concluded that the bulk collection is illegal.”3 Rather than allow the numerous repercussions Snowden now faces stop him, Snowden chose to make the public aware of wrongs committed against them, even if it meant going against the government. The American people and their right to their privacy drove Edward Snowden to make a personal decision, and the result was not that of a traitor, but that of a hero and a man undeserving of the hatred and rejection made by the country he was striving to support.
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