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Posted: May 12th, 2023

The actions of Edward Snowden

In 3-4 paragraphs, discuss if you believe Edward Snowden’s actions were of benefit or harm to the nation? Explain your answer.

Your initial post should be a minimum of 500 words. Homeland Security

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The actions of Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, have sparked a debate about whether his revelations were of benefit or harm to the United States. In June 2013, Snowden leaked classified documents to the media that exposed the extent of the government’s mass surveillance programs. Some argue that his actions were necessary to shed light on the government’s overreach and protect civil liberties, while others argue that he jeopardized national security and put lives at risk.

On one hand, Snowden’s revelations brought attention to the government’s surveillance programs and sparked a much-needed debate about privacy and civil liberties in the digital age. The documents he leaked showed that the NSA was collecting vast amounts of data on American citizens without their knowledge or consent. This led to a series of reforms, such as the USA Freedom Act, which put limits on the government’s ability to collect bulk data. Snowden’s actions also forced tech companies to strengthen their encryption and security measures, which has helped protect users’ privacy.

On the other hand, Snowden’s actions also exposed sensitive information about the government’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and compromised national security. The leaked documents revealed the identities of undercover agents and provided insights into how the government conducts surveillance on foreign adversaries. This information could be used by hostile actors to undermine US interests and put American lives at risk. Some argue that Snowden should have gone through proper channels to report his concerns and work within the system to effect change.

In my opinion, Snowden’s actions were ultimately of benefit to the nation. While he may have exposed sensitive information that could be used by hostile actors, the reforms that his revelations spurred have helped protect Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. The government’s mass surveillance programs were a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, and Snowden’s actions brought attention to this issue and forced policymakers to take action. While it’s important to protect national security, we must also ensure that our government operates within the bounds of the Constitution and respects citizens’ rights. Snowden’s actions helped to achieve this balance.

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