Edward Snowden case discussion

Edward Snowden case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. Law of privacy

Edward Snowden case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. Edward Snowden’s argument supporting his decision to reveal the information is based on the law of privacy. Edward feels that the new strategy by the US government will contradict the freedom of privacy (Guardian, 2013). This is because the new surveillance will put the domestic and global citizens at risk of being watched and monitored doing their private things. Edward is responsible for handing over materials and revealing information from one of the most secretive organizations in the world, the National Security Agency. By doing so, Edward has broken the Act of Espionage and assisted the United States enemies to gain access to extensive information about the US exceptional services. Edward believes that the United States security agencies were closing the line for the law of secret and kept questioning the rightness of what he saw as a security official (CBS, 2013).

Edward Snowden Argument considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory

Edward believes that the value of the Internet along with privacy is being speedily ruined by ever-present surveillance. He believes that the new surveillance to watch over human activities goes against privacy law and provides no room for intellectual creativity and exploration (Guardian, 2013). Besides, Edward believes the surveillance by NSA poses an existential threat to freedom and democracy (CBS, 2013). He argues that the government has granted itself power it is not entitled to, and the policy lacks public oversight. Edward claims that Internet freedom should be accorded to users through the online support of right policies. Besides worrying about privacy issues, Edward believes that the United State government is steadily eroding the behavior of the intelligence services. The primary goal of Edward is in line with public interests and advocates for transparency in government dealings. Edward argues that it is wrong for the US government to have direct access to spying the Internet communications of US citizens (CBS, 2013).

Edward Snowden case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory

Justification of Snowden’s Decision

The value and meaning of privacy remains a substantial controversy subject. This is because the combination of advancing new technology power and the decreasing agreement and clarity on privacy give rise to issues concerning ethics, law, and policy. It is essential before justifying Edward’s actions to be moral or illegal to collect diverse information to assist in determining the moral justification for his actions. The data should include the following;

Edward Snowden case
Edward Snowden case
  • Privacy conceptions and the privacy value
  • Moral reasons for personal data protection
  • Personal data
  • Constitutional versus the information privacy
  • Law, regulation and indirect control over access
  • Accounts of the privacy value
  • The impacts of information technology on privacy
  • Emerging technology and our understanding of privacy
  • The Privacy Act and common law on privacy
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act and its application
  • The concepts, value, and the importance of privacy and confidentiality
  • Government restrictions and punishment for cybercrimes and privacy issues

 Edward Snowden Argument considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. Law of privacy

Understanding the law of privacy is important because privacy fosters moral values and is an enabler of democracy. Privacy fosters personal morality and restrains government misbehavior. Besides, privacy is sometimes about transparency, and there should be privacy rules to access personal data and control personal information and image. Despite privacy being the cornerstone of liberal values of limited government, citizens are obliged to justify their conduct to the government (Neuman, 2013).

Edward Snowden’s case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. Utilitarianism Theory

Therefore, to compare the moral significance of Snowden’s decision, it is essential to apply both the Utilitarianism and Kantianism theories to determine which action is most correct. Utilitarianism is the most reasonable ethical method taken due to simplistic natures of the principles of the utilitarian moral law (Necley, 2017). Despite its simplistic nature, it is hard to use objective, measurable cost to the loss of Snowden’s job, violated trust, suffering pain, professional reputation, and a broken relationship. The utilitarian theory ranks decisions from low to a high utility in order to make a decision. Snowden’s decision is morally supported in the utilitarian theory because it is crucial for him to reveal the truth to the public directly. The pleasure obtained by the public will be justified to prevent the government from accessing personal information and data using surveillance. Under the utilitarian theory, Snowden should be granted immunity because he is morally justified to reveal the private information to the government. However, Snowden will lose his job, NSA will lose its credibility, and his actions could affect the jobs of other company workers. Besides, Snowden may never be able to find another job for breaching his trust with the client and his company. The total utility of revealing the information results in much pain (Necley, 2017). However, the ethical action tilted and motivated his decision to reveal the information to the public for them to make decisions concerning their private information.

Edward Snowden case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. Kant theory

Kant theory proposes that people should act the way they expect others to act towards them and in a way to develop universal applicability. Thus, people must treat others the way they would consent to be treated in the same manner (Berman, 2017). Snowden’s decision resulted in a life-threatening situation. The public would want to know about the new surveillance and would consent to treat the government the same way. This is possible a universal ethical law; however, the seriousness of the information leak so heavily tip the ethical scales against blind compliance with the law that ethical judgments of disclosing must bind all persons in such situations (Berman, 2017).

According to Kant deontology, Snowden is not morally justified to disclosure the information. Besides, Snowden should not be granted immunity because of the seriousness and or life-threatening properties of his actions. This is because Snowden is obligated to NSA and not to the public, despite being obligated to the universal moral law to disclose the information. The Kantian moral law supports that a promise should be kept. Snowden’s promise to his profession takes precedence over what seems to be the apparent categorical imperative. The revealing of secret information to the public is in clear violation of the law according to Kant deontology.

Edward Snowden case, considering Kant theory and utilitarianism theory. References

Berman, P. (2017). The globalization of international law. Routledge.

CBS, (2013). Hong Kong: Edward Snowden’s Welcoming Refuge. CBS Interactive Inc. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hong-kong-edward-snowdens-welcoming-refuge/

Guardian, (2013). Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations. Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

Necley, G. (2017). Philosophical views on the value of privacy. In Privacy (pp. 3-9). Routledge.

Neuman, S. (2013). NSA Leaks Caused Terrorists To Change Tactics, Senator Says. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/06/16/192346807/senator-nsa-leaks-caused-terrorists-to-change-tactics

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