Was Edward Snowden justified in his actions

About Edward Snowden's ethical dilemma

On the third anniversary of the Snowden revelations, Carolin Emcke writes in her column in the Süddeutsche Zeitung about the ethical dilemma: duty.

Civil disobedience can be aimed at a necessary and desirable change or at the necessary and desirable maintenance of the status quo, ”wrote the philosopher Hannah Arendt in 1970 in her essay“ Civil disobedience ”,“ for the preservation of constitutional rights or the restoration of the right balance of power within the system of government. ”In one interpretation or another, this description fits the actions of Edward Snowden very well. When the former NSA employee revealed his secret knowledge of the worldwide wiretapping practices of the American and British secret services in 2013, this motivated him according to his own information: the need for change and the necessary preservation of constitutional rights. What Snowden criticized with his educational act were the illegal excesses of an uncontrolled security apparatus that disregarded the rights of the citizens he was tasked to protect. In this respect, it was about both: the preservation of the subjective rights of the individual as well as the parliamentary restoration of the balance of power within a system of government - here between the government and the secret services - which had obviously fallen apart.

Meanwhile you can read in Vice magazine that Edward Snowden had tried many ways to report the grievances internally before the revelations. It just didn't interest anyone. The Vice was able to sue and publish various correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal

In keeping with the third anniversary, there is only one thing left: Thank you, Edward, for the courage and moral courage!

Would you like more critical reporting?

Our work at netzpolitik.org is financed almost exclusively by voluntary donations from our readers. With an editorial staff of currently 15 people, this enables us to journalistically work on many important topics and debates in a digital society. With your support, we can clarify even more, conduct investigative research much more often, provide more background information - and defend even more fundamental digital rights!

You too can support our work now with yours Donation.

About the author

markus

Markus Beckedahl blogged as early as 2002 in the original form of netzpolitik.org and has been developing the platform as editor-in-chief since 2004. netzpolitik.org started as part of the newthinking communications GmbH, which he co-founded and from which the re: publica conference, which he co-founded, arose. Markus Beckedahl has been a member of the media council of the Berlin-Brandenburg State Media Authority since 2010 and was a member of the "Internet and Digital Society" study commission in the German Bundestag from 2010-2013. In the time before netzpolitik.org he was once active with the Greens. He writes the weekly bits newsletter from the netzpolitik universe. Contact: Mail: markus (ett) netzpolitik.org / Telephone: + 49-30-92105-986 (during working hours) - You can also find it on Facebook: Twitter and Instagram.
Published 06/05/2016 at 10:44 am