Our Democracy Has Been Hacked
May 19, 2017
“I don’t see myself as a hero because what I’m doing is self-interested. I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity. “ said by Edward Snowden. Snowden at the time a 29 year old man worked as a system administrator in Booz Allen Hamilton Kunia Camp, Hawaii. Snowden realized that the everyday work that the National Security Agency was doing was an unlawful act. On May 20, 2013 he flew to Hong Kong to meet with journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. On Thursday June 6, 2013 The Guardian publishes an article titled, “NSA collecting phone records of million of Verizon customers daily.” Finally on June 9, Edward Snowden is known as the biggest whistleblower in United States history. Patriotic hero or treasonous criminal are the sides of this argument. Edward Snowden is a patriotic hero that should be exonerated for the revelations of massive metadata done unlawfully by the NSA.
At the present time, any law obeying American citizen, is spied on by the NSA. The mass surveillance purpose is to catch terrorist but when a “net” is spread too wide the process is slowed down therefore not helpful towards anyone. Terrorist activity is at its strongest and it hasn’t been slowed down by the massive surveillance. When the NSA is too busy looking at every move that each American takes it will obviously make it harder for the NSA to get the terrorist. “They are interested in information that pertains to the work I am doing that’s clearly private and privileged. It’s an intimidating situation when people with guns meet you when you get off an airplane.”, says Laura Poitras one of the journalists who have noticed the NSA spying. Laura Poitras is considered one of the many journalists who have private and secret information for hard, truthful, and exposing articles. Freedom of speech and press is taken from journalists when the NSA puts them on the suspicion list instead of the terrorists. The NSA has everyone’s information, lawful or unlawful at the end of the day.
Snowden is a man that believes in democracy and in the people. The people should be the ones to decide if they want less privacy. The NSA has made this decision without the American nation knowing. Snowden faces charges of “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an authorized person.” Snowden knew that messing with one of the biggest intelligence agencies would bring major consequences. Snowden’s life, job, and family were put to risk, all in the name of exposing the reality of our dirty “democracy.” The Patriot Act ruled the NSA’s Metadata Collecting Program illegal when brought to the federal court. The whistleblower should be pardoned because the revealed information was illegal itself. There is usually protection for eyewitnesses and what Snowden witnessed was no different. But the American government turned him down and chased him for the negative exposure.
Not to mention, Snowden’s leak has appealed to journalists and millennials who more than ever have a voice. Journalists have always been targeted by the government. Sarah Harrison is a journalist and section Editor for WikiLeaks. Harrison works with WikiLeaks because the organization is there to reveal documents with anonymity. In fact Harrison along with Julian Assange helped Snowden go from Hong Kong to Russia. Assange and Harrison both are advocates for standing up against violations of people’s rights all over the world. WikiLeaks is partners with Snowden because of the patriotic deed that was done for the people. Millennials are the future of this nation and many politicians want the young people’s vote. Millennials everyday life involves the internet, so when Snowden leaked these files these generation was quite invested. The young people of America don’t want to be striped of privacy. Snowden has awaked the millennials and politicians more than ever, which they used to get the young people’s vote.
After all things considered, Edward Snowden is a man that should be pardoned for his patriotic whistleblowing. The Metadata Program that the NSA executed was ineffective to stop the war on terror, instead it resulted in the eradication of rights of innocent Americans. The true meaning and practice of democracy was stepped on when the government executed the program without the voice of the people. NSA shut down the privacy of journalists and Americans, but Snowden made sure that the nation knew it was being robbed of its basic liberties. Snowden stated “Being a patriot doesn’t mean prioritizing service to government above all else. Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your Constitution, knowing when to protect your country men, from the violations of and encroachments of adversaries. And those adversaries don’t have to be foreign countries.”