Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snowden Not Hero or Good Person for His Criminal Act

Edward Snowden: Whistleblower or Thief of Classified Information
(his actions were unlawful and illegal)

Domestic Snooping Overreach: Yes, 100%
(a serious issue)

These two issues clash and conflict and have divided people into two camps: pro-Snowden and anti-Snowden. I am in the anti column for these main points:

1.  Snowden did not have to steal any amount of highly classified information to make his point.
2.  Snowden could have gotten whistleblower status and made his case to any number of persons in elected office (but he did not try).
3.  Snowden by his own admission (seen here) said he took his job with the NSA for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence on Washington’s cyber-spying networks. He was in Hong Kong at the time and just before fleeing to Moscow , where he still is. He said he sought a position as an analyst with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the NSA’s secret surveillance program ahead of planned leaks to the media. Specifically, he said: “My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked. That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

As this New Year starts, this article comes out in a pro-Snowden editorial, in part:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government should grant former NSA contractor Edward Snowden clemency or a plea bargain given the public value of revelations over the National Security Agency's vast spying programs, the New York Times editorial board said on Thursday.

Also, from that Reuters link these stories is for your further research:
Snowden's approach to this issue and now a problem that we all now see was wrong. In our society we cannot pick and choose which laws to break or obey or ignore, and especially when it comes to public safety or national security.

Now here from msnbc is a totally new angle – one I don't entirely agree with. See where you stand on their take about “Obama’s double standard on Amnesty for Snowden?” 

We have a system in place that we must follow - like it or not. If those we approach do not listen or just slough us off as a wacky person, then we should go to the next person or higher level. However, stealing highly classified information and going to China and then Russia and making it available across a wide media spectrum is not that path. No matter how strong one's convictions are against government we must obey the law and in this case, more so.

Snowden was wrong and he should be charged and prosecuted for the crime. His actions cannot be left to stand without legal punishment. NSA in my view went too far and overreached the lines of common sense and decency. This NSA program should be reined in. The responsibility to ensure that happens lies with Congress. So, will they act or not???

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