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Edward Snowden – Traitor or Hero? – Debating Privacy, Whistleblowing and National Security in the Context of NSA Surveillance Programs

Edward Snowden’s massive leak of classified NSA documents continues to damage the credibility and reputation of the United States around the world. The initial headlines when Snowden first released these documents were harmful, but as journalists continue to sift through the data the situation has become increasingly embarrassing for the United States. Most recently, the leak exposed that the NSA was monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, and has apparently hacked into the fiber-optic cables for Yahoo’s and Google’s overseas servers enabling them to copy emails and other information.

The NSA claims that all information they collect is for the purpose of stopping terrorists at home and abroad, but many believe that Snowden’s leak is evidence that the scope of their operation is excessive and unconstitutional. Depending on which side you believe, Snowden is either a traitor or a populist hero. In what is sure to be an enlightening evening, the award-winning Claremont Colleges Debate Union will be attacking this question from both sides.