When it came to is realization that the NSA had systems in place to “spy” on citizens he became worried. The fact Of privacy infringements was what worried Snowmen. He did not want to sell government secrets but rather blow the whistle on what the NSA was secretly doing. Of course the government did not see it that way; they deemed him as a threat to the state. Though arguments can arise for both sides and yes he did essentially break the law by breaching the National Security Agency, Snowmen was right in genuine thoughts which were that citizens assumed they had privacy.
However, his ours of action could have been better. If there was a whistle blowing system in place then he could have used that. Finding out this type of information can send anyone “off their hinges” which is why one can rationalize with Snowmen to a point. The arguments made that he betrayed his country because he fled to Russia where he was granted temporary asylum is a good argument because it made him look guilty. However it could have been because he was in fear of his safety.
He did make it clear that he did not want to expose the blueprints of the NSA system so that other entries can have better technology to spy on their people but just that he felt people had a right to know, which makes sense to the common man. But the truth of the matter is people panic and information like that being leaked can cause a frenzy which is the reason why the NSA did not release the information publicly. There are two sides to this story but both are understandable. Should he be punished for his actions? Some people say no, some say yes.
It’s up to a jury of his peers to find which side they rationalize with more. The following are some ethical issues which arose from the Snowmen case: 1) Claims that Snowmen endangered the people’s lives How exactly did he endanger people’s lives? Did he reveal the names of undercover agents putting them in imminent danger? There was a case where a CIA Agent’s name was leaked to enemies by Lewis Lobby who at the time was an aide to Vice President of ASSAI, Dick Cheney. This was in no way comparable to what Snowmen did but government officials try to place it in the same category.
Snowmen was adamant in his claim that his intentions ere never to harm the United States but rather to make citizens aware that they were being monitored. 2) Snowmen confirmed information already known. Most U. S. Citizens believed that they were under surveillance even before Snowmen leaked the information. Before the Snowmen case, the Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA and Verizon had been collecting “meta- data” on citizens of the U. S. So finding out that the government had been spying on you shouldn’t have come as a shock to citizens.