Snowden, Hero or a Traitor ?
Edward Joseph Snowden an American former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency Is all over the news these days. Declared a criminal and traitor by United States (US) is considered as a Hero for others but why ?
Lets have a quick view of the whole scene.
Snowden in June 2013 revealed information about a variety of classified intelligence programs, including the interception of US and European telephone metadata and the PRISM and Tempora Internet surveillance programs by Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian (London), which published a series of exposÃ©s based on Snowden’s disclosures.
On June 14, 2013, US federal prosecutors filed a sealed complaint, made public on June 21, charging Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person; the latter two allegations are under the Espionage Act.
Snowden explained his actions saying: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sorts of things “surveillance on its citizens”… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.
Snowden and his girlfriend moved out of their home on May 1, leaving nothing behind. On May 20, Snowden flew to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong. He was staying in a Hong Kong hotel when the initial articles revealing information about the NSA that he had leaked were published.
Later Snowden applied for asylum in Equador which was a huge buzz. As majority of Equador’s exports rely on US, the opposition was against Snowden’s asylum where as Ecuador’s President seemed to be neutral respecting the international law.
As Snowden applied for Ecuador’s asylum, he later left Hong Kong and started travelling towards Ecuador.
Snowden on his way to Ecuador had to stay in Moscow as it came under the transit route between Hong Kong and Ecuador. When US received the information regarding Snowden’s locality. Russia was contacted by US for Snowden’s custody on which Russia replied that there is no pact signed between US and Russia over criminal exchange. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Snowden’s arrival in Moscow “really came as a surprise for us”. Putin called Snowden a “free” person who has not committed any crime on Russian soil and therefore will not be extradited by the Russian government.
Snowden remained in the transit area of the Moscow’sSheremetyevo International Airport and thus had not formally entered the country. Snowden was free to leave and should do so, Putin claims were received skeptically by some observers,however, with one Moscow political analyst saying that “Snowden will fly out of Russia when the Kremlin decides he can go. He might not even be in the airport. The safest place would be a GRU apartment”.
Snowden’s move of disclosing secret intelligence data has created numerous problems internationally for US. As the Cold war of US with Russia and China is quite an obvious fact known to the world. The issue of Snowden gave a point to both the countries to avail this opportunity against US.
Other important information released by Snowden includes the telephone tapping and email surveillance of the European Union by US has shocked the world. US now has to face retaliation by the world over its surveillance program. There is an increase in the number of enemies for US after the disclosure of secret data by Snowden which has labeled him as a traitor by US but the rest of the world is considering him as a hero for sharing such information.
Recently Germany and France have also criticized US when the data showed that they were also on the list of surveillance.
The European Union might end up its relationship and economic agreements with US after this incident.
Snowden’s information has raised many questions for US the world is asking WHY and HOW ?
This is the first time that the United States of America being criticized by the United Kingdom, European Union including Germany and France along with Russia, China and Ecuador’s lack of cooperation over Snowden’s custody.
After the publication of the surveillance data now FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are also concerned about their Image and users as if they are part of this surveillance program which mentions `internet’ as well then this might lead them loose a huge following and face a great economic loss.
So now Snowden to whom I call a `Traitor Hero’ has changed world politics to some extent as he revealed a condemnable act of violating privacy and illegal surveillance by the US.