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Did Edward Snowden do more good or harm - Essay Example

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Did Edward Snowden do more good or harm

he security and peace of the Britain and other populations in the west, then the Snowden leaks have been devastating and have caused a lot of harm (Scruton 2013; Whitehead, Hope and Swinford 2013). On the other hand, there are those who say that the Snowden leaks have done worlds of good. One, the leaks have awakened the American public to the reality of the massive, pervasive and unauthorized intrusions into their privacy by government. Such awareness has in turn caused many Americans to speak out and spark a debate into extent of civil liberties and the right to privacy on the one hand and the need of government to secure its well-being and the safety and peace of the general population through the conscious trespassing of those liberties on the other (Desilver 2014; Newport 2013). On balance, this paper argues that Snowden’s actions have both had done harm and good A nuanced consideration of the arguments from both sides of the debate tell us that the consequences of his actions are complex. The underlying issues of personal freedoms and civil liberties versus government policing and surveillance in pursuit of securing the peace has ever been a source of tension in a rich and never-ending tug and pull dynamic between these opposing forces (Mirkinson 2013; Scherer 2013).
On the one hand we have legal experts opining that the surveillance programs and tools used by the NSA and counterpart agencies in other countries are in essence necessary evils in a world where terrorists have access to the same technologies, and where those programs and tools have aided in the suppression and arrest of terrorists and their activities (Omand 2014; Johnson et al. 2014). 9/11 is being highlighted in discussions of how such surveillance programs have averted potential recurrences of such an event moving forward from that catastrophe, in an argument in support of the general view that by compromising such activities to detect and prevent 9/11 events, Snowden has terribly ...Show more
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Summary

This paper weighs in on both the harm and the good that Edward Snowden has caused by releasing classified information on the surveillance programs of the National Security Agency in the United States and its partner agencies in other countries, targeting its civilian populations…
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