Question from Hawaii in 2013 he was a

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Last updated: September 5, 2019

Question 1 – Provide abrief review of Edward Snowden and the sequence of events of the case.Edward Snowden, born in 1983 North Carolina, was a formerNational Security Agency (NSA) contractor. He worked for both the CentralIntelligence Agency (CIA) and NSA. At the time of his departure from Hawaii in2013 he was a Systems Analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton, an NSA contractor. Itwas May 2013 that Snowden travelled to Hong Kong with the intention to leaksensitive information and documents to TheGuardian and The Washington Post.The information revealed contained highly classified NSA initiatives andactivities being used continuously to collect and review personalcommunications both inside and outside of the United States.

His identity, onhis request, was made public by TheGuardian on June 9th that same year. He was seeking politicalasylum in Hong Kong but was eventually granted temporary asylum by Russia on 1August 2013. Currently, at the time of this case study he is at an undisclosedsecure location.

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Personalintegrity is to be true to oneself and to do nothing that would dishonour you.To take it further, it means to have profound moral principles and moraluprightness. Personal integrity was in the heart of Snowden’s decision making.He acted based on his perceived social responsibilities and based on hispersonal values.

This sparked many arguments whether what he did wasfundamentally a reckless act that has endangered America or fundamentally anact of heroism that is for the long term good of America and perhaps the world.Personal integrity would entail him to think about how he would perceivehimself as a person, what his principles are and if he could live with thisdecision reported in the media. His intentions were not for the NSA to stopwhat they do but to inform the general public of what has been done in theirname and the extent to which this has been done.

Personalintegrity triumphs over professional integrity in this case because it givespower to the larger public by allowing them to evaluate the actions of a highlyshielded agency which would not have come to light if it had not been forSnowden.    Question2 – What was the reason and impact of Edward Snowden’s decision to whistle blow?Snowdenacted as a whistleblower to expose excessive government surveillance of theAmerican people an act that he believes violates the fundamental rights toprivacy. He did this by forgoing anonymity and reasoning that he had nointention of hiding. The word excessive here is pertinent given that NSA’ssurveillance should solely be for the sake of national security. However, themonitoring was not limited to actual threats and the NSA did not seem to havetaken efforts in making their monitoring less intrusive, they completelyignored due process by not disclosing to Congress the extent of theirsurveillance activities.

The need for surveillance was loosely veiled by thethreat of terrorism. Terrorism provokes an emotional response that allowspeople to rationalize authorizing breach of privacy or excessive surveillance.Snowden acted upon NSA’s practice by identifying the end that is affected byit, majority being the common people of America. He acted based on hisperceived social responsibilities and based on his personal values. EdwardSnowden was a representation of that generation that was brought up with theinternet being an integral part of their lives, he then became profoundlyoffended almost at visceral level when he realised that the internet was beingharmed.

His intentions were not for the NSA to stop what they do but to informthe general public of what has been done in their name and the extent to whichthis has been done.Five years on its 2018 and looking at what are the impactsSnowden’s whistle blowing has change the world, or did it? There was no impacton American Politics or its Surveillance Laws. The laws governing surveillanceare far too complex to begin with. It made some impact on public opinion but it didn’t cause a major shift. The changesthat were seen however was in Silicon Valley. The impact there was moreprofound and lasting.

Social media and tech companies stood to lose billions asthe public was losing trust in them. The likes of Google and Facebook tookvarious measures to encrypt and protect user data at the anger of Governmentauthorities. In 2016, Apple declined to work with the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation to access an iPhone that belonged to a party of the SanBernardino massacre. Had not been for Snowden’s act, it is very unlikely thatApple would have made such a stand. Apple also fought to stand by its decisionin court. Question 3 – What happened to Edward after he wasexposed for whistle blowing?Upon forgoing anonymityEdward was on the run from the United States as charges upon him startedmanifesting. From Hong Kong where he first disclosed secret documents and thento Russia. His American passport was cancelled when he reached Moscow where hewas restricted to the airport for over a month.

Upon which the RussianGovernment granted him asylum for one year. Edward still remains in the publiceye, as strong advocate for government transparency and freedom rights. He alsoearns from speaking fees where he appears before crowds through live streaming.

Edward is now reported to be in a securelocation somewhere in Moscow and continues to seek asylum from other nations asRussia refuse to grant him a permanent one. Question 4 – Brieflyexplain how the following stakeholders responded to Edward’s whistleblowing:a.    Governmentb.    Formeremployersc.     Politicalfiguresd.

    Responsefrom ChinaThe residing United States Governmentwere quick to condemn Snowden a traitor and that his conduct was the ultimateact of treason. The Attorney General found his act to have broken the law andhe is considered a criminal by law. Dick Cheney former Vice President of theUnited States from 2001 to 2009, said this was the worst act of betrayal inAmerican history.Booz Allen Hamilton’s quick reaction wasto terminate Snowden June 10 but this did not absolve the former employer inany way. The stock value too a plunge due to Snowden.China’s response was very cautious andsubdued given that they were the biggest victims of hacking attacks.

They werereluctant to jeopardize the improved ties with the US. Ed Snowden’s act does not split alongthe traditional political lines of left versus right wing or pro-governmentversus libertarian. Personal integrity was in the heart ofSnowden’s decision making he is a traitor to some and a hero to others as awhistleblower depending on who the stake holders serve.

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