Short Paper 1
The National Security Agency is an intelligence agency in the U.S. government responsible for the collecting and analyzing foreign communication and foreign signals of intelligence in order to protect the U.S. government communications and information systems. Edward Snowden was a government contractor that worked at an NSA center as a system administrator. Edward Snowden leaked information regarding top-secret government surveillance programs. In a video interview that took place in Hong Kong, “Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post regarding top-secret government surveillance programs at a Hong Kong hotel June 9, 2013. Snowden’s leak expanded an intense debate over the clash between national security and online privacy.”
Snowden leaked information about two different NSA operations called PRISM. The first operation was the collection of data from U.S. phone call records to search for possible links to terrorists abroad. The other operation was the surveillance of online communications to and from foreign targets to detect suspicious behavior. Snowden had reports on how the NSA’s PRISM program retrieves information from prominent technology companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. without court orders or subpoenas. Snowden said he leaked the information to expose abuse and protect the public, not to cause damage. Is what Mr. Snowden did was ethically or morally right? Now that I have given the background of Mr. Snowden’s situation and how it has become a magnified dilemma on whether or not he did the right thing or not to leak this information. I will now analyze his decision to leak the information using the Act Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Social Contract ethical theories.
Act Utilitarianism says that it is morally right to do whatever action you can that would cause the most happiness for people, and thus it is wrong to do anything more...