There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Edward Snowden’s decision to expose the unconstitutional spying on every American, and by in large the world, by the NSA. Some call him a traitor for his actions while others call him a hero. Regardless of which term you apply to him, the main issue becomes the unconstitutional action of our government against its own citizens. Everyone can agree that not all spying is a bad thing; governments have been using many means to spy on each other to gather information on a variety of subjects from technological advances to military movements and strategies. However, when spying by the government is done indiscriminately for frivolous reasons totally unrelated to any issue involving securing or protecting the nation, the action has overstepped the accepted and practiced standard.
In a recent online session with Courage Foundation, Snowden, speaking from Russia, stated not all spying is bad and the United States has an opportunity to take the lead in acceptable targeted surveillance standards.
According to Snowden, “The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents’ communication[s] every single day. This is not done because it’s necessary – after all, these programs are unprecedented in US history, and were begun in response to a threat that kills fewer Americans every year than bathtub falls and police officers – but because new technologies make it easy and cheap.”