By: Brian T
If you don’t know, Edward Snowden is the man who, in 2013, leaked hundreds of thousands of NSA files showing the large degree of privacy invasion and spying on the citizens of the US and many other countries. After releasing these files, he fled to Russia and was granted asylum by the Russian government for 3 years, the time is coming to an end, and he is going to have to figure out where to go next.
On Sept 14, he had a video call with a human rights organization to see if he could receive a presidential pardon. They are hoping that with the release of the movie Snowden it will urge more people to support Snowden and pressure the government into giving him a pardon. The groups asking for the pardon believe that the government may give his pardon a chance if the public response is in his favor. There are many websites dedicated to giving him a pardon, and he said that he was “moved beyond words” that people were calling for his pardon, he followed this up with “And I must say that while I am grateful for the support given to my case, this really isn’t about me. It’s about us. It’s about our right to decide.”. The goal for his pardon is to be done before President Obama leaves office in January.
Many people are behind the fact that he not only should he be pardoned, but he should be treated as a hero for exposing the extent of the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping and their collection of people’s private information. People say that because of Snowden’s actions, electronic spying has been significantly curbed and people are now more aware of what the NSA is doing. He has also responsible for many bills being passed in order to have increased government transparency and we are now more aware of what is happening behind closed doors. The government, however, says that the calls for his pardon will likely be rejected and the chances of it succeeding are extremely unlikely. The White House spokesperson said that Snowden is charged with “serious crimes, and it is the policy of the administration that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States and face those charges”.
Snowden has done many great things in regards to government’s overreaching their bounds into people’s privacy, but at the same time, the things he has done could be treated as extremely serious crimes, so what do you think? Is he a whistleblower with good reasons, or a traitor?