If what Edward Snowden disclosed about what snooping the US government was doing behind closed doors was a surprise to you, then you can accurately classify yourself as naive. If what Edward Snowden disclosed was no surprise and just confirmation of what you already suspected, then chances are you are more of a leader than a follower, and you can do the math when it comes to the level of technology that is out there in today’s world.
It does not take a rocket scientist to know what governments are doing behind closed doors and behind the veil of the top secret status. Anyone that has been following even casually the stories in the news about various governments wanting access to Blackberry, and limiting the level of technology available to the public are two super size dots that don’t need many more dots if any. We can easily know the true level of technology by common sense, and given that level, common sense tells us the level of government snooping in your private business.
So in the reality of this, all Edward Snowden did was say yes, your suspicions were right. It is hard to fathom the claims of damage the US government is saying, particularly so when people had already done the math themselves. The only damage that can be seen is political damage, and that is not worthy of an arrest warrant in the USA. It is not really much different than some politician getting caught up in some sex scandal.
At last check the polls were split about 50/50 on what Snowden did, and a similar response was for Wikileaks. The ones against Snowden understand that governments must go through extreme measures to identify terrorist threats. We are reminded of that each time we look to board an aircraft. On the other side of the coin, there are people that feel governments are too intrusive and exposing them may look to make them back off. Both sides have valid arguments.
Stepping back a step further, in the surveillance that Snowden disclosed is really not that secret. All they are doing is gathering data from phone companies. That is the same data that can be subpoenaed in court by anyone who feels it is relevant to their case. The reason for this collection is it allows real time data mining and not having to wait for the phone company to burn a stack of disks to sent it along. Logic dictates this makes sense when real time information is needed to stop some terrorist threat.
So the question remains is Edward Snowden a criminal for verifying what we already suspected, or is he driven by the same moral and ethical values we are taught as a child. Coining Edward Snowden’s words, we all must decide for ourselves. If we feel it is a crime for the US government to collect phone company records, then we will favor one point of view. If we feel that more or less the data is semi public information anyway, then we will feel yet another way.