Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?

Nathan England nathan at nmecs.com
Mon Jun 10 02:15:21 MDT 2013


On Monday, June 10, 2013 12:44:45 AM Ryan Simpkins wrote:
> Why I think this question matters to PLUG:
> * Snowden was an IT worker and referenced information gained in his position
> as a Sys Admin/Analyst in determining that wrong doing had occurred. * PLUG
> is deeply analytical. This question requires deep analysis. * We respect
> the opinions of our colleagues and peers far more than pundits and
> politicians.
> * The NSA is building "phase II" in our backyard. Some of you may choose to
> go work there to help run these programs.
> * It might be YOU who decides to do this next.
> 
> Did Mr. Snowden do the right thing by disclosing PRISM and similar programs
> to the world, or did he violate the trust of his employer, government, and
> fellow countrymen by reveling secrets that aught not to have been reveled?
> 
> Video here:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-s
> nowden-interview-video
> 
> -Ryan
> 
> /*
> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
> Unsubscribe: http://plug.org/mailman/options/plug
> Don't fear the penguin.
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This is an awesome question, and I don't mean that in the hippie surfer awesome way, 
but in the "awe"-some way. The information that came out, whether being 
sensationalized by the media or completely accurate is important for every American 
to know.

I don't know how to express it elloquently, or that I could even explain it in a way that 
someone else could say had good hard points, but in the end, I think Mr. Snowden did 
the right thing.

If my employer was doing nasty things with personal data, while claiming to not have 
that data, I would mumble to myself, but might keep working there. How do I quantify 
"nasty" ? I don't know. I don't personally like companies having *any* personal data, 
but in the society we have built, we have in large part given up so many of our private 
liberties in the name of convenience to private corporations that it becomes a very 
fine line between what is ethical and what is not. While it may not be appropriate for 
this list, I have to say, I think with the removal of Jesus Christ from society and a 
capitalist system that has largely forgotten God altogether, I don't know that this 
country has any real ethics anymore. Where would I draw the line and stop working for 
the company? I'm not sure I could say that. I would know when I know, but it would be 
purely gut. Would I turn over all my info to the media? No. I might start a serious F.U.D. 
campaign against the company and tell everyone I know about their unscrupulous 
practicies, but I wouldn't turn over any documents.

With that being said, why do I think Mr. Snowden was right in turning over the 
documents? Because a private company (or public for that matter) is an entity of the 
state and should succeed or fail based on its business practices, hence my F.U.D. 
campaign. But the government, as elected officials by you and I, and what I believe to 
be an institution establish by God to protect the citizens, uphold justice, and punish 
criminals, (though God warned what a government would bring pretty well in Samuel!) 
the government cannot be run outside the rule of law. It cannot operate above the 
law. It absolutely must be held to a higher standard.

More importantly, we once upon a time had a document that stood for something, and 
it garaunteed the right of innonce until proven guilty. A government that is 
condemning its citizens in order to protect itself is not an institution that can be 
trusted, nor an institution that should be allowed to continue.

I think immediate action should be taken against all the upper levels in this 
administration. I realize a lot of this came from Bush, but at some point in Mr. Obama's 
presidency he needs to begin taking responsibility for his office. At some point in time 
he must stop blaiming Bush for everything and acknowledge he has made mistakes. 
He knew about the program, yet did nothing to stop it, he is just as guilty, if not 
moreso than Bush. The Obama administration has led an absolutely brilliant campaign 
of plausible deniability by making sure it appears that Obama knows nothing that is 
going on. And while it is really (sadly) quite possible that Obama really has no clue or is 
even just a puppet, in the end, it is his administration and he must own it. When a 
sports player fails a team he may be benched or even sent to the minors, but the head 
coach will still lose his job, though he didn't make the error.

It took a lot of courage for Mr. Snowden to release those documents, and I applaud 
him for doing so. The government is not a corporation that needs a slap on the wrist, it 
is a collective of elected officials who have forgotten whom the constitution has given 
authority to. That is us. We the people. And they the government need to begin 
fearing we the people. 

Personally, I think gitmo should remain open. We may need to expand it a little . . .

Nathan


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