Millions of civilians go through life minding their business, unknowingly sharing disclosed information with the government. Snowden’s confession caused several investigations into US surveillance. Edward Snowden exposed both the CIA and NSA, stating, “I’m just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watches what’s happening and goes, ‘This is something that’s not our place to decide, the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.’” (Snowden, June 2013) The public is now conflicted, wondering if they’re being screwed over by phone companies like Verizon, social sites such as, Facebook and search engines like Google.
The tragic events of 9/11 gave the government a reason to increase governmental surveillance and secrecy and reduce privacy rights and free speech. They believe that doing this would prepare them from another terrorist attack. Snowden argument is that the NSA exceeded the agency’s authority and violated the public’s First and Fourth Amendment rights of free speech and privacy. The documents Snowden released raised the question of whether the NSA’s foreign and domestic surveillance activities are protecting or threatening the foundations the U.S. democracy is built upon. Also, Edward Snowden’s caused some economic conflicts like: hurting international relations between America and Europe, exposing the NSA for monitoring the phone activity of 35 world leaders and reducing importation and exportation between Canada and America due to the leaked information. Some believed that congress dropped the Patriot Acts t because they were ineffective and believe Snowden is still a villain. Snowden’s disclosure has yet to change a social context that favors government surveillance and secrecy over openness and transparency and a more limited interpretation of First Amendment rights.
Who’s at fault? Is it the government or Snowden? Both broke the law; the government and senior officials who committed the crime are the same people who took oaths to defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. Then again, Snowden isn’t a saint. Snowden broadcasted private information that weren’t supposed to be shared. Some are thanking him, even calling him a hero. President Obama himself said he welcomed this debate, though it’s obvious that his administration wanted to keep this information from the public. America is still waiting for Edwards Snowden triumphant return; this is the land to the free and freedom of speech is allowed, so they say.