The Snowden Situation
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This week’s blog post will focus on Edward Snowden. Perhaps you've heard his name before. Just in case, I will provide a brief & swift summary:
Snowden was an IT geek for the National Security Agency (NSA) until 2013.
In 2013, Snowden traveled to China and provided a plethora of top-secret information to a few select journalists regarding the (what he believed to be) unlawful looking after / spying on American citizens by numerous American intelligence agencies.
In essence, Snowden was claiming (and provided proof for) that American intelligence communities had been spying on everyday American citizens for years.
Snowden believed what he witnessed to be an abuse of power and unconstitutional. He wanted the world to know what was really going on behind the scenes.
The American government did not take kindly to Snowden going rouge and disclosing the information that he did to the public. While some people, including Snowden himself, believed that he was doing the American public a favor by pointing out how our intelligence communities were violating the constitution and illegally spying on the average citizen, others saw the situation through a different lens.
Federal prosecutors charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property.
America stripped Snowden of his passport. After finishing up his business with the journalists in Hong Kong, Snowden boarded a flight to Moscow. His goal was to seek asylum by flying to Ecuador. That did not come to fruition. The American government stripped Snowden of his passport.
Snowden remains in Moscow to this day. He has been awarded full, permanent residency in Russia. While there are rumors that he has worked with Russian intelligence officials, Snowden vehemently denies doing so.
Rumors have swirled that President Trump, or if not perhaps another future leader of our country, will consider pardoning Snowden.
Let me be clear: I am not attempting to side with one political party or the other with this post.
However, after listening to a podcast or two and scrolling through articles online, the Snowden controversy popped into my head as one that seemed and ultimately I deemed worthy of writing about due to situation's relation to tech.
I encourage you to do your own pursuing on Edward Snowden. For your convenience, here is a simple timeline published by CNN that clearly lists and summarizes the key events that have taken place over the course of the controversy:
What unraveled was and is befuddling, fascinating and ominous all at the same time. What are your thoughts on the Snowden situation?
Shouldn’t he be pardoned? It seems as if he had no other motive to disclose the information that he did and whistle blow other than for the good of America’s future.
On the contrary, there are two sides to every story. Perhaps some of the information that Snowden leaked to the press compromised our national security in ways that were not fully depicted in the public sphere.
I really am no expert on this. But it is undeniably intriguing. Mass surveillance in this era of tech is something that certainly seems as if it can be easily abused.
What is your take on all of this? I’d love to hear each of your opinions.