Friday, February 24, 2017

Edward Snowden Controversy

My question this week was “What are the constraints on free speech and the First Amendment for the news industry?”. The way I’d answer this question based on my presentation is that there are actually a lot of constraints that contradict the part of the First Amendment that mentions “freedom of the press”. My specific example is the Edward Snowden controversy, even though he was not a journalist he passed on the classified documents to journalists to publish and if the journalists had not made a deal with the government, they would probably be imprisoned right now (Edward Snowden (NSA Leaker)).  Their deal included silence for freedom, basically if they didn’t publish anymore information on the documents they wouldn’t be charged for publishing them in the first place. I believe that this should be covered by the First Amendment, especially in this case because the government should be exposed for doing illegal things. How are we expected to follow the law if the people who created them won’t?  If you want to find more in depth information about what the journalists published you could find it here: (Greenwald, G., MacAskill, E., & Poitras, L., 2013).
A few of my classmates answered my first discussion question, which was if he was a traitor or patriot, saying that they thought he was neither for the most part. Many disagreed with him and his actions, one even saying that deep down we all knew our government was spying on us.  When I asked my second question which was whether the U.S. government had a right to persecute him for his crimes or not, two of my classmates and I got into a very well pointed discussion from both sides. They thought he should be punished because the information was classified for a reason, while I thought since it didn’t do much damage in my opinion. I told them I believed that if he was going to get charged so should the government because they as well were participating in illegal acts as well.
My topic was very similar to Bobby’s and he made see this topic in a more unbiased manner, because the fact that this time it didn’t affect any relations with other countries or damage national security to a large extent doesn’t mean next time it won’t have worse consequences. I also want to address how it was different from Bobby’s, he focused solely on WikiLeaks which is an international corporation and would be harder to try in court, while I focused on one man, which is easier to try and to extradite.
            Below is the list of the sources I used for all my research:

      Board, T. E. (2014, January 01). Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from
      Chadwick, A., & Collister, S. (2014). Boundary-Drawing Power and the Renewal of Professional News Organizations: The Case of The Guardian and the Edward Snowden National Security Agency Leak. Boundary-Drawing Power and the Renewal of Professional News Organizations: The Case of The Guardian and the Edward Snowden National Security Agency Leak, 2420-2441. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
                  Greenwald, G., MacAskill, E., & Poitras, L. (2013, June 11). Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from
      Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (n.d.). Media Now: Understanding Media Culture and Technology (9th ed.). Cenage Learning.
      Unknown. (2013). Edward Snowden (NSA Leaker). Biographies for International Security. 1-2. doi: 
      Wong, K. (2014, March 19). What did Snowden tell them? The Hill. Retrieved February 20, 2017

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