Is Edward Snowden a Saint or a Sinner?

  john bunyan 21:28 24 Jun 2013

The former NSA employee is said to be heading for Ecuador. I suspect that it is not possible or legal to intercept and force the plane to land where the US could arrest him.

His disclosures are hardly surprising - only the sort of stuff one would expect secret units like GCHQ or NSA to do.Some praise such whistle-blowers, others say he is a traitor. My own view is that if you join such an organisation, you know it is never OK to talk about it. Others may disagree?

  Aitchbee 21:55 24 Jun 2013

I was 'taken aback' when I recently saw [on television from an aerial overhead BBC TV camera] a view of GCHQ. It's like the Kremlin ... times ten!

My answer is ...Saint.

  Forum Editor 22:34 24 Jun 2013

He has been hailed as a hero by people who signed the petition asking The White House to guarantee him immunity from prosecution.

What he did was appoint himself as a judge and jury of what the American security agencies were doing, and then act in direct defiance of the agreement he signed that prevented him from disclosing classified information. In effect he decided that he knew best what was in the interests of the American people.

He justified his actions by saying "I can't allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties. My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He's a classic example of someone who thinks he can best judge what is and what isn't in the National interest, and decides to go for glory. In fact he's nothing more than a criminal, and I hope he is handed over to the American authorities. The last thing America needs right now is an outbreak of copycat whistle-blowing, and that's what may happen if this man gets away with his crime.

  wee eddie 23:09 24 Jun 2013

My guess is that Moscow is as far as he will get.

The Russians will trade him for one of theirs in American Custody. We may not even know that the Americans are holding such a Russian Spy but you can be sure that they are. The Cold War may be over but the game still goes on.

  Quiller. 23:16 24 Jun 2013

His disclosures are hardly surprising

That's true. About as surprising as their is no Santa.

Sorry Aitchbee .

  woody 23:17 24 Jun 2013

Is there anyone that reads a computer mag/forum that is surprised the spy's err spy. This info has been around - maybe not confirmed - for a very long time . You switch on the PC and get a little note - "we are watching you" and some think the spooks are not!

  Kevscar1 06:55 25 Jun 2013

So it's alright for America to spy on us but not it's own citizens. I can just imagine the outcry over there if someone came out and said we were doing the same to the Americans.

  wee eddie 07:15 25 Jun 2013

Kevscar1: have you not been reading the news?

They watch our nasties, we watch theirs, so no one breaks the law of their own land!

  kad292 07:55 25 Jun 2013

Neither saint nor sinner but misguided,yes.Sign the secrets act and that binds you for life,he may have given succour to the "enemy" by his disclosure's which,anyway,have been known to have existed in other circles for years. He should have read a few books before putting himself in the firing line.

  sunnystaines 08:02 25 Jun 2013

what he has revealed is common practice in all countries, I must admit i would be disappointed if they were not doing so. every nation needs a security service to delve behind the scenes.

I am sure china, russia, they are all at it.

  fourm member 08:18 25 Jun 2013

'I must admit i would be disappointed if they were not doing so. every nation needs a security service to delve behind the scenes.'

But, those services need to operate within rules that are open and accepted by the majority of the population.

The notion that 'You switch on the PC and get a little note - "we are watching you"' needs to work in both directions. That is, the security services need to know that they cannot go beyond what is allowed in law and expect to get away with it.

If Snowden has exposed activity that is unlawful in the USA then it seems a bit rich to criticise him for being a criminal.

The authorities, here and in the USA, are rushing to provide 'proof' that surveillance has prevented major attacks. Such stories need to be looked at very carefully because the ones I've seen, so far, haven't stood up.

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