Edward Snowden's Analysis

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When in May 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed information about the U.S. intelligence conducting controversial government surveillance activities to newspaper reporters, the US government accused him of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Specifically, Snowden currently faces three criminal charges. The first charge falls under section 641 of the United State Code for theft of government property. The other two charges fall under the Espionage act section 793 (d) and section 798 (a)(3). These two sections respectively prohibit Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information, namely “intentionally communicating national defense information to unauthorized persons if one has reason to believe the information could hurt the US or …show more content…
Code). The analysis of the First Amendment has typically relied on the philosophical thinking of John Stuart Mill. According to Mill and his tradition of utilitarianism, free speech is one of the necessary conditions of a free society. He argues that freedom of speech and, therefore, a free marketplace of ideas in which no one’s opinion is silenced, are fundamental for a good government, for the discover of the truth, and for individual’s self realization. Mill argues that the common good is what is the best for the majority of people, and, therefore, an action can be justified if it promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of …show more content…
Government claims that his disclosure has caused a remarkable damage to the US security. The U.S. government has the right to maintain governmental secrecy for the interest of national security. In a time in which the United States is engaged in a war against terrorism, the government needs to be able to withhold information from the public as one of the most critical tools of national defence in order to conduct effective military actions against enemies. What Edward Snowden disclosed has revealed different practices through which the US surveillance was defending the nation from possible terrorist attacks and revealed to terrorist groups the ways through which the U.S. government spy on them. The US government argument is that national security is the main concern in leading a nation, and in the case of Snowden, even if secret surveillance activities have been conducted illegally, they are necessary to defend the nation, and the public’s right to know is less than the harm that Snowden’s disclosure has caused to the U.S. national security. According to the US government, Snowden has jeopardized the safety of his country, and this can deter the measures taken to protect the country from terrorist

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