Edward Snowden: Hero or traitor?

Thomas Bink
Edward Snowden: Hero or traitor?

As National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden continues to seek asylum from a transit area in a Russian airport, North Americans are questioning whether the 3o-year-old is a hero or a traitor.

Snowden leaked critical, top-secret information about the NSA's surveillance programs, including the fact that major U.S. phone and Internet companies were implicit in providing massive amounts of data about Americans to the NSA. By extension, it was revealed that the Canadian government is performing similar surveillance.

[ Related: NSA leaker Edward Snowden faces hurdles in search for asylum ]

Apparently, the high-school dropout was able to attain the data during a three-month job at Booz Allen Hamilton, recipient of billions in secret government contracts.

China, Russia and most recently Poland have refused asylum requests by Snowden. If he is captured and returned to the U.S., he will be tried for treason, among other charges, and will likely spend the rest of his life in jail.

However, Snowden's actions not only showed the American government's interest in the electronic activities of its own citizens, but that someone with very limited security access could easily obtain the documents to incriminate it.

So, is Snowden a hero for exposing these security leaks, or is he a traitor for exposing his own government?

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