Essay about NSA and Edward Snowden

Essay about NSA and Edward Snowden

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Privacy has endured throughout human history as the pillar upon which our authentic nature rests. Yet, in an age darkened by the looming shadow of terrorism, another force threatens to dominate the skyline and obscure the light of liberty behind promises of safety and security: government surveillance. As an employee of the NSA, Edward Snowden broke his vow of secrecy to inform the public of our government’s furtive surveillance acts, but does this render him traitorous? To answer this, we must first ask ourselves, traitorous to whom? When the very institution established to protect our fundamental liberties intrudes on our privacy from behind a veil of secrecy, should such informed individuals resign from judicious autonomy and become the pawns of an erroneous power machine? Snowden chose to defy the NSA upon recognizing that they had in fact defied the values that our nation was founded upon. Orwellian dystopias are not built in a day, and with each step of further encroachment on our privacy, we lose our ability to explore individuality in an unhindered existence. Shall such a sacred freedom be traded for security? Knowledge proves to be a society’s best protection against such threats to liberty, and the acquisition of such knowledge would have been impossible without a Promethean figure like Snowden to jeopardize his own freedom for the sake of public information. In this sense, Edward Snowden has become a hero of our modern age, sacrificing his own livelihood to warn the world of a growing threat to the authentic human experience.
In June of 2013, Edward Snowden met with a group of journalists in a Hong Kong hotel room, revealing to them– and subsequently citizens around the world– information regarding the NSA...

... middle of paper ...

... to protect our right to privacy. Edward Snowden sacrificed his ability to experience a normal life so that we could know of the surveillance pervading our technological world. In such a consideration, it becomes evident that Snowden is an archetypal hero of this new age, serving not his government, nor himself, but humanity.

Works Cited

De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, Volume II. London: Saunders and Otley, 1840. Print. Vol. 2 of Democracy in America. 2 vols.
Lennard, Natasha. "The other government agency spying on you." Salon Media Group, 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Scahill, Jeremy, and Glenn Greenwald. "The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program." The Intercept. First Look Productions, Inc., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Thoreau, Henry David. Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience). N.p., 1849. Print.

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