Compliance Management, Privacy

Debate: Should Edward Snowden be granted amnesty?


In this month's debate, experts discuss whether whistleblower Edward Snowden should be granted amnesty.


Greg Masters, managing editor, SC Magazine

It's clear that Edward Snowden violated a nondisclosure agreement and should face a judge for that violation.

However, what cannot be argued is that what he made visible – in transferring troves of government documents to journalist Glenn Greenwald and others – unearthed a rampant toxicity at work in our government. 

He was not trying to make a profit by selling secrets, he was not out for attention for himself. Indeed, he was keenly aware that his actions would result in severe rebuttal.

Rather, he was out to expose questionable, if not unconstitutional, practices by the U.S. government so that its citizens, and others throughout the world, could become aware of practices he deemed outrageous enough to warrant sacrificing his own safety.

Did he cross a line in breaking a government contract? Yes. But so much more is at stake in this public act electrifying our common experience. Does his action in trying to right a wayward ship of state deserve amnesty? Yes.


Jay Ferron, CIO, Interactive Security Training 

I disagree. An employee agrees to certain rules as part of their employment. If you do not like the terms, or are uncomfortable with the work you can quit. 

Let's face the facts. Governments around the world spy on each other. If you apply and get a job with any government agency, you know the rules and are required to follow them. There is a process that whistleblowers can utilize and expose issues and possible illegal activities to oversight committees, but Snowden didn't do that.

Instead, Snowden chose to go to another government and expose the way our government works. This is nothing but treason. How many lives of government agents may have been exposed and may have been put at great risk due to this act of treason?

We do not know all that Snowden shared, and is sharing, but we can be sure there are some things that have been shared that will cause risks to all Americans.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.