Locate an article that discusses the actions and prosecution of Edward Snowden. In your initial post, provide a link to the article and answer the following questions:
- What source of law controls Snowden’s prosecution? Explain your answer.
- Can Snowden be charged and arrested by a state law-enforcement officer? Can he be prosecuted in a state court? Why or why not?
- Do Snowden’s actions violate substantive and/or moral laws? Explain your answer.
- What goals/purposes of the criminal justice system justify criminal action against Snowden?
Review the posts of your fellow learners and respond to at least two. What factors do you think may influence these different assessments of the Snowden case? In your response posts, you must do one or more of the following:
- Ask an analytical question.
- Offer a suggestion.
- Elaborate on a particular point.
- Provide an alternative opinion supported with research.
Be sure to support your initial post and follow-up posts with scholarly examples from the module readings and additional literature where appropriate. You must cite all references according to APA style.
Peer post one
I found two different articles that helped me understand who Edward Snowden is (had no idea who he was) and more about what he did and the what type of charges are being pressed against him.
One of the articles is a Biography about him and the other is called The Resilient Foundation of Democracy: The Legal Deconstruction of the Washington Posts’s Condemnation of Edward Snowden.
Snowden worked for the NSA. While working for them he stole many documents from the government. He ran to Hong Kong where he then exposed these documents to the world. In doing so he breached his contract as a U.S. government official. He is now faced with charges that are under the Espionage Act. However, since he is currently residing in Russia the American government can not do anything unless he comes to the U.S. or the Russian government agrees to turn him over to the U.S.
Snowden if found in the U.S. can be arrested by a state law- enforcement officer because of his charges and his warrant. The officers then would turn him over to the Federal Court system as his crimes were against the U.S. and he worked as a government official.
I do think that Snowden had good intentions since he felt like the information, he leaked was hurting all of the individuals residing in the U.S. however, he did break substantive/moral laws. I believe that instead of stealing the information and running to a different country was the wrong way to handle the situation. He broke the law. I believe that he should have done the research on how to legally go about handling the situation which in turn I believe could have fled any issues he saw and also, he wouldn’t have had to run and hide in different countries. He obviously knew what he was doing was illegal because he fled to a place he couldn’t get caught.
The purpose and goal of the criminal justice system pressing charges against Snowden are simple he broke the law he needs to be charged for doing so. He took information about the government from the government that was supposed to be secret and exposed it. In doing so he hurt and caused problems to the U.S. the goal is to make sure that he is charged and also to make the rest of the government employees know that if they decide to do the same that they will not get away with it. Why work for the U.S. government if you’re just going to steal and break the law?
B. (2018, February 06). Edward Snowden. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/edward snowden-21262897
Kim, H. (2018). The Resilient Foundation of Democracy: The Legal Deconstruction of the Washington Posts’s Condemnation of Edward Snowden. Indiana Law Journal, 93(2), 533–548. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db= u&AN=132598796&site=eds-live&scope=site
Peer post 2
The article I found regarding Edward Snowden is Kim, H. (2018). The Resilient Foundation of Democracy: The Legal Deconstruction of the Washington Post’s Condemnation of Edward Snowden. Indiana Law Journal, 93(2), 533–548. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=132598796&site=eds-live&scope=site
Edward Snowden collected various confidential surveillance information he received during his role at the National Security Agency, and while in Hong Kong, leaked this information to the Guardian Newspaper. “On June 14, 2013, the United States government charged Edward Snowden with “theft of government property” under 18 U.S.C. § 641, “unauthorized
communication of national defense information” under 18 U.S.C. § 793(d), and
“willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to
an unauthorized person” under 18 U.S.C. § 798(a)(3). The last two charges fall
under the 1917 Espionage Act” (Kim, 2018, p. 537).
The source of law that controls Snowden’s prosecution is the United States Constitution and federal law enforcement. Snowden breached his duty as a government employee, and the charges filed against him come under the Espionage Act, which federal law enforcement has jurisdiction.
Since Snowden is currently residing in Russia and Russia has no intent to extradite him back to the United States for prosecution, state law enforcement has no jurisdiction over this matter since he is out of the country. If he does return to the United States, since the crimes were committed on United States soil, a state law enforcement officer could arrest Mr. Snowden due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
While I think Mr. Snowden believed he was doing the right thing by disclosing the “secret” surveillance that was going on by the NSA, he still broke the law, and abused his power as a government employee, so I do believe he crossed the substantive/moral line. I disagree in part with what the NSA was doing, but I do not think it was Mr. Snowden’s place to leak this information to the press. He could have taken other legal avenues if he thought what was occurring was illegal.
I believe our criminal justice system should prosecute crimes against our nation, and any crime for that matter. There are obviously some exceptions, and that is why we have prosecutors and defense attorneys to resolve which cases should be prosecuted based on evidence. If we do not prosecute, especially in these types of circumstances, it could be a free for all for any employee, government or not. There are too many crimes occurring against our government, and the individuals are seeking refuge in other countries. While we may have bi-lateral treaties with some of them, most we do not, and that is an issue that needs to be resolved. We have laws in place for a reason, and I feel that Edward Snowden, while he may have had good intent, still broke the law and should pay for his crimes.
Kim, H. (2018). The Resilient Foundation of Democracy: The Legal Deconstruction of the Washington Post’s Condemnation of Edward Snowden. Indiana Law Journal, 93(2), 533–548. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=132598796&site=eds-live&scope=site
These webpages from the United States Courts website outline the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the federal courts, and the state courts. These pages will support your work on the discussion for this module.