Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor for leaking the information about the NSA? According to the opinions of FedSmith.com users from our recent survey, he is a traitor.
50.7% of respondents said he is a traitor while 19.8% said he is a hero. Another 29.5% said he is a little of both.
As to whether or not Snowden will ultimately face punishment, 61.7% of respondents said they believe Snowden should be punished and 61.3% said they thought he ultimately would be extradited and face punishment. Only 24.4% said they felt Snowden should not be punished, and 11% said they did not believe Snowden would ultimately be punished.
The debate is a spirited one and generated a number of comments as well. The following is a sampling of some of the comments from survey respondents:
- I’m sure he signed a non-disclosure agreement before he started working there. He knew he was breaking the law and should be punished accordingly.
- I think he will probably be protected and rewarded by some Asian country.
- We IT folks have access to alot. Most of us never go in and look at that data. He should be imprisoned for many years!
- He should be silenced.
- Why bother having elected officials if low-level employees can act to circumvent their policies. He was granted access only because he signed an agreement not to divulge classified information he was exposed to. He was paid to perform this work. He has added to his misdeeds by making claims about hacking of Chinese data sites. Whether accurate or not, many people around the world will assume the accusations are true and US resources and assets (including US officials and tourists) could become targets for years to come.
- George Orwell was prescient when he wrote 1984—just ahead of his time.
- It amazes me how the goverment can conduct illegal activity in the name of protecting Americans.
- He should be executed as a war criminal
- The federal government can not win for losing. If nothing is done preemptively when the attacks come, and the will continue to come, then the nay sayers will say why did the government not do more to track terrorist thwart the attacks!
- The NSA needed to be exposed.
- He is a hero in that he has exposed the inappropriateness of having contractors do the work that federal employees should do. He is a traitor because he handled it inappropriately.
- This is a perfect example of why Defense/Federal contractors cannot be trusted.
- Obama promised to have a transparent government and that has not happened. To keep his administration honest, good people have to reveal dishonest things at their own peril.
- It all depends upon whether the information he leaked seriously causes the US harm, other than embarrassment for spying on our friends, allies, and others, or if, what he did, truely exposes illegal activities that must be stopped and the perpetrators punished. If the latter is true, then heads must roll from the top down, not just the little guys. But, if this pans out as “business as usual,” a few middle-ranking managers will be let go, along with their staff, and everything will continue as always. We no longer have honorable leaders who take the hit for being at the top of an agency that has done wrong under their purview.
Our thanks to those of you who took the time to take the survey and share your opinion. Have more to say on the subject? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.