Monday, April 27, 2015

Will The Real Edward Snowden Please Stand Up?

From the LA Times, AP photo by Aymann Ismail. Bust of Edward Snowden in a park in Brooklyn, New York.

We’re talking this week in my media class about law and ethics of mass media.

Which raises the interesting question of Edward Snowden, the man who in 2013 revealed how extensive online government monitoring of citizens had become.

We covered some basic ideas early in the week about the First Amendment, and how, even with its absolute-sounding language, that there are all kind of ethical and legal limits on communication.

Snowden revealed the “PRISM” program. The government, in Snowden’s words, “deputized” corporate America to provide internet data to the NSA.

Snowden, after revealing government secrets, fled to Russia and has become controversial.

Students, were is some background information for you:
  • Snowden is likely to be in the news as parts of the PATRIOT Act are up for renewal this year. Jon Oliver explains and does interview with Snowden.
  • One writer implies that Snowden is gaining influence due to your generation.
  • Snowden’s popularity varies worldwide.
  • A 2013 column that concerns mixed reaction to Snowden’s leaks.
  • Pultizer-prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts says Snowden should have faced courts.
Based on what you read here, where do you stand and why? What are the legal and ethical issues of media practice associated with this? Is it right or wrong, for example, for media to use leaked information under this circumstance?

1 comment:

  1. It's important to hold accountable those who govern us, yet its difficult to call someone sworn to secrecy, and broken federal law a hero when it's such a touchy subject.