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Edward Snowden: False Criminal

courtesy of Edward Snowden, @Snowden on twitter.com

Vince Tobin, Writer

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In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a computer contractor for the National Security Agency, leaked classified information to expose the NSA for secretly tracking countless cell phones, laptops, and other personal electronic devices without us knowing.

Snowden revealed that the NSA has the power to look through all of your emails, private messages, monitor your phone calls, and even remotely access the cameras of your phone and laptop and watch you at any given moment. Snowden’s actions made headlines across the world and ignited political debates to whether or not he should be charged for the crimes he committed.

In the heat of an election year, Snowden, a movie based on Edward Snowden’s life, has once again made his actions a trending topic to discuss. Politicians from across the globe have debated on whether Snowden’s actions were noble or backstabbing towards the U.S. government.

Even President Obama voiced his opinion on how to capture Snowden while he was on the run from the government after he leaked the information. “I’m not going to scramble jets,” said Obama, “over some 29-year-old hacker.”

Snowden is currently living in Russia and has been granted asylum until 2017, according to Isabel Gorst, a reporter for Los Angeles Times. If he returns to the U.S., he will be charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person.

So basically, Snowden broke the law when he stole “government property,” which refers to the files that exposed the government for secretly watching us. He also broke the law when he told the world about what the government was doing. So the question is, should he be praised or condemned? Should he be judged or pardoned?

Snowden is a prime example of what our country was founded on: questioning the government. If the people of England didn’t question their government’s misuse of power and taxation and migrate to the west, America would cease to exist. Our freedoms would cease to exist.

Governments around the world would use their power for their own benefit instead of using that power for the citizens. Without Snowden’s discovery and use of excellent moral judgement, the people of the United States would have never known that the government could secretly monitor them.

Edward Snowden said in a Q and A with The Guardian, “I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything that I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded.”

Did Edward Snowden break the law? Yes. What he did was absolutely illegal without a doubt. However, presidential pardons can be granted even for federal crimes. President Obama has given 69 presidential pardons since his presidency began. Why not make pardon number 70 one that many Americans have been wanting since 2013?

Edward Snowden should not only be pardoned of his crimes, but awarded and honored for his bravery to expose the government for the corruption that has the potential to destroy the freedom of privacy for every single citizen of the United States.

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Edward Snowden: False Criminal