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DillonWilliams

12/4/13
EdwardSnowdenNSAEssay

TherehasbeensuspicionformanyyearsthataU.S.governmentagency,forexample
theNSA(NationalSecurityAdministration)ormultipleagenciescouldbetrackingor
surveillancingU.S.citizensandothernonU.S.citizensphonecalls,electronicmessages,
andothertypesofrecordablecommunication.Thisinformationcouldbeusedagainstthemin
acourtofalaw.AmannamedEdwardSnowdenwhowascontractedbyanagencyworking
fortheNSAreleasedtopsecretdocumentsconfirmingthis.Manypeoplehavemixed
thoughtsonwhatSnowdendid,andmorepeoplefromthegeneralpublicoftheUnitedStates
areagreeingwithwhathedidthenfromthegovernment.
OnJune12,2013SnowdenspokewithamediaoutletinHongKongandadmittedthat
hewastheonethatreleasedthetopsecretdocumentsfromtheNSAthathadbeenleaked
earlierbyTheGuardian,aBritishnewspaper.HealsospokeabouthisworkfortheNSAand
howeasyitwasforhimtogetanyonesemails,byjusthavingtheiremailaddress.Dueto
this,SnowdenwasgivenmultiplechargesbytheUScourts.Thechargesincludeespionage
andtheftofgovernmentproperty.HeleftHongKongshortlyaftertheinterviewandwas
aimingtoreachCuba,howeverhewasstuckinRussiaattheairportstransitcenterandhe
realizedhewouldbecaught.Luckily,afteracoupleofmonthsstayingatthetransitcenterhe
wasgrantedtemporaryasylumuntilnextyear.SnowdenistryingtonowlearnRussianand
hasaRussianlawyer.HealsonowhasajobworkingataRussiancomputercompany.
EdwardSnowdenwasborninNorthCarolinaonJune21,1983.Heiscurrently30
yearsold.Afterhedroppedoutofhighschool,heattendedAnneArundelCommunity
College,andtheUniversityofLiverpool.HelaterearnedaGED.Hedidspendtimeatthe
ArmyReservesgettingspecialforcestraining,however,hedidntcompletetrainingandleft
duetoaleginjury.Hethensoonafter,gotajobattheNSAasasecurityguard.Somehow
afterthis,hewasabletogetaninformationtechnologyjobattheCentralIntelligenceAgency.
TheCIAhadstationedhiminSwitzerland.In2009,helefttoworkforpubliccontractors,one
ofthemDellandtheotherBoozAllenHamilton.WithBoozAllenHamilton,hehadbeen
shippedaroundtoJapanthenfinallytoHawaiiwherehehadbeenworkingbeforehewenton
therunandleakedtopsecretsoftheNSA.
SnowdendidwhathedidbecausehefeelsthatNSAstrackingofAmericanswillonly
getworseinthefutureandespeciallysinceSnowdensaidtheNSAisfocusedongetting
intelligenceinanywayitcan..Healsobelievesthatthisisadangertodemocracy.Snowden
isamanwhoalsobelievesintherightthatAmericansshouldknowhowthegovernmentis
secretlytrackingthemandtheyshouldbeabletohaveinasayinwhethertheyagreewithit
ornot.ThisissupportedbywhenSnowdensaidTherightnessorwrongnessofgovernment
monitoringshouldbedecidedbythepublic..HealsosaysIdidtheworldapublicservice..
ThisissupportedbymanynewsagenciesincludingCNNwhichsaysthattheNSAisamong
theworstsurveillanceoffenders.Bydoingthis,Snowdenisfightinghumanrightsaswell.He
wasevenafinalistforaEuropeanHumanRightsAward,TheSakharovPrize,howeverthe
prizewasawardedtoanotherfinalist.

Americasresponsetothishasbeenveryclosetobeinghalfandhalfinsurveys.Half
ofAmericancitizensbelievethatSnowdenisatraitor,whiletheotherhalfdoesnot.Itseems
thereismoretrustinAmericansthattheNSAisusingtheirpersonaldataappropriately.This
isproveninasurveyinwhichAmericanrespondentssaidthat77%oftheissueof
governmentsurveillanceofthepublicsinternetcommunicationsisveryorquiteimportant
tothem.Whereas,moreCanadians(78%)andmoreBritons(82%)saiditwasimportantto
them.MoreCanadiansandBritonssaythatSnowdenisaherothanAmericans.Anotable
person,JimmyWales,thefounderofWikipediahassaidthatSnowdenisaheroinhis
opinion.U.S.President,BarackObama,hassaidthatwhattheNSAisdoingisokayandthat
theycannotandwillnotopenyourphonecallrecords,phonerecordings,electronicmessages
oranyotherelectroniccommunicationwithoutprobablecauseandawarrant.Hesaidalso
thatthatthisisokaybecausewehavefederalcourtsandCongressregulatingthis.Healso
believesthattherearetradeoffsforoursecurity,andthattherearechecksandbalancesin
place.HealsosaysthatthefederalcourtsandCongressareregulatingthis.Hesaidthatthe
2015programgetsourdatafromserviceproviders(suchasVerizon)inbulk.Callpairshave
nonames,nocontent,onlythephonenumbersdialedandhowmanytimes,andthedateand
time.Healsosaidthe702programdoesntapplytoanyAmericanpersonandtheprogram
involvesforeignmonitoring.
Recently,theNSAhascomeoutwithareportasaresultlikelyduetowhatEdward
Snowdenleaked.ThereportsaysthatToprotectprivacy,civilliberties,andsecurity,theNSA
oughttobereformed.ThereportalsocameoutsoonafteraFederalJudgesaidthattheNSA
programislikelyunconstitutional.Anewssource,TheAssociatedPresssaidU.S.District
CourtJudgeRichardLeonorderedtheNSAtostopcollectingphonerecordsoftwoplaintiffs
whobroughtthelawsuit,butstayedhisowndecisionwhilethegovernmentappeals.
Reportedly,MarkPincus,thefounderofZynga,whichhasmanypopularonlinegames,
includingonthesocialnetworkingwebsiteFacebook,suchasFarmville,hasaskedPresident
ObamatopardonEdwardSnowden.PresidentObamaalsoreportedlytoldthefounderof
Zynga,thathecouldntdothis.Itwillbeinterestingtoseehowthegovernmentmonitors
citizensurveillancingandtrackinginthefuture.