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Short Paper #1: Edward Snowden: Criminal Or Whistleblower

869 words - 4 pages

Edward Snowden was an employee of a contracting company that works for the NSA when he came across information that would surely change the way Americans, and the world, view the U.S. Government. During his time working for the NSA Snowden discovered the extent of the NSA’s surveillance on the American people and foreign leaders, and became concerned that the American government was going too far in its attempt thwart any terrorist attempts by unjustly invading the privacy of the American people. Snowden took a leave at work under the guise of a medical leave, and left the country for Hong Kong. Here he met up with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, employed by the Guardian, a ...view middle of the document...

Act Utilitarian Analysis:
Benefits: The American people are now more aware of the steps that the government has taken to stop terrorist attempts on the American people, which had been kept a secret, and was ultimately Snowden’s goal. The NSA is now undergoing some reform, which will possibly lead to way for the government to continue to protect its people from terrorism, while still respecting the privacy of the American people. Laws may be made that stop the government from being able to collect and store personal information, such as their search history and call logs, about citizens without proper consent or a warrant. Knowledge of how far NSA surveillance goes may discourage terrorism.
Harms: The leak has caused a lot of mistrust between the American people and the U.S. Government. Snowden’s family will most likely be under closer surveillance and may face scrutiny or hostility from their neighbors or coworkers. The leak revealed that NSA also spied on foreign leaders which may lead to mistrust and possible retaliation from other countries. Terrorists may begin looking for alternative methods of communication that avoid alerting the NSA.
Kantian Analysis:
Honesty is a perfect duty in the Kantian philosophy. Had Edward Snowden come across the information that he did and not reported the invasion of privacy to the American people, as many of his colleagues did, it could have been seen as a dishonest action, by withholding truth, and therefore immoral.
By withholding information about the fact that NSA...

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