Academic articles

Ethical Dilemma: Edward Snowden the Traitor or American Hero

Edward Snowden is computer professional from the United States. In June 2013 he leaked classified information about the United States from the NSA (National Security Agency). Part of his work history includes doing computer work for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). He became popular quickly upon releasing a number of classified documents that detail how the United States runs several surveillance programs around the world with other governments. Some hail him as a hero for exposing actions that are considered unethical. Others think he is a traitor as they think what he did was wrong. So, which is it?

Snowden may be seen as a traitor because he is an American. A large number of Americans have the attitude of all for one and one for all. Supposedly we should have each other’s backs no matter the situation. And when it comes to surveillance and keeping the country safe, you would think most people would be on board in how these actions are carried out. He left the country when American government officials wanted to review his actions with him. He also shared more documents when he left the country when he disclosed his identity to the public. His actions may have changed how other countries look at the United States.

So how is he being hailed as a hero? Analysts and investigators believe he may have shared information that others have a right to know. It does make global surveillance another issue to contend with, especially in how other countries carry out similar actions. Some think his actions helped bring problems to the light that need to be dealt with in the political world. But the idea of him possibility getting away with it may show what he did may not have been as serious as what many were led to believe in the beginning.

For many people this will continue to be a debate since you are entitled to your own opinion. But if the governments of the world are supposed to work toward achieving peace and harmony with their citizens and other government bodies, there needs to be higher levels of trust and honesty. Even higher courts can’t determine whether what Snowden did was acceptable or irresponsible. But, his actions won’t stop others from doing the same thing he did. He obviously did this for a reason many are still trying to understand.