Snowden and the Ethics of Whistleblowing

Many of the critical issues facing the modern world could be considered ethical questions that appear under the influence of the evolution of society. The process of the reconsideration of some traditional values has given rise to a great number of concerns. These have been related to such issues as safety and security. However, the major concern of the modern world is human life and the functioning of various institutions of society is organized to guarantee its protection. Unfortunately, there are many problems which pose a security threat and might have a great negative impact on the life of a person.

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Especially complicated the problem becomes in terms of the latest events and the anti-terrorist effort. The scale of the challenge is so significant that the security agencies of various states introduce unique measures to terminate terrorist activity and protect people. Being aimed at the improvement of the quality of life of a person, these measures also create the basis for the appearance of a nagging ethical problem as many human rights are infringed.

The world-known case of Snowden evidences that the problem of the violation of human rights is very topical. The given accident gave rise to a great number of debates about the nature of whistleblowing and the ethical aspect of state surveillance (Scheuerman, 2014). The opponents and critics of the given practices insist that the private life of a person should remain untouched and the safety concern could not serve as the reason for the invasion of privacy.

The debates became especially ardent after the former security staff member had provided evidence of the total state surveillance (Scheuerman, 2014). Snowden managed to escape the USA and publish the documents and materials which prove the facts of spying and the invasion of privacy. Hundreds of people became the victims of NSA as their human rights were infringed.

However, the major ethical dilemma of the given case is whether national security agencies have the right to interfere with the private life of a person or not. NSA tried to exonerate itself, insisting on the fact that the given measures were approved to guarantee safety to citizens of the USA and other countries and that the information obtained with the help of these practices could not be turned against a person. However, society does not accept this excuse, stressing the unethical character of NSAs actions and underlining the basic human rights.

Yet, a number of people have another perspective on the given case, accusing Snowden of whistleblowing and violation of the basic corporative principles as being the member of NSA he did not have any rights to divulge information and undermine authority and efficiency of the organization which protects the state and society.

It follows from these cogitations that the case of Snowden triggered a great number of ethical debates connected with the issue of whistleblowing. Modern society faces a great challenge and the question of safety is vital for the further evolution of humanistic values. NSA tries to protect society and uses remedies that might seem unethical to the majority of the population. Under these conditions, the negotiation process might seem the only possible resolution as it could promote a better understanding of the main views of the participants of the debates.

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Scheuerman, W. (2014). Snowden and the Ethics of Whistleblowing. Boston Review. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Snowden and the Ethics of Whistleblowing." January 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Snowden and the Ethics of Whistleblowing'. 11 January.

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