The American public have largely disapproved of Joe Biden’s job so far. It could get way worse.
Because Joe Biden has a massive decision to make that you need to read about.
Just like Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Joe Biden is going to have to decide whether to pardon Edward Snowden and/or Julian Assange at the end of his term.
Here’s why that’s important.
Edward Snowden is a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who, in 2013, leaked classified information about the US government’s secret surveillance programs. The information revealed by Snowden sparked a worldwide debate about privacy, government surveillance, and the balance between national security and individual freedom.
Snowden was born in 1983 in North Carolina and worked as a computer specialist for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before being hired as a contractor by the NSA. In May 2013, he leaked classified information to journalists, revealing that the US government was conducting widespread surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.
The information revealed by Snowden included details about PRISM, a secret program that allowed the NSA to collect data from major internet companies, such as Google and Facebook. Snowden also revealed that the NSA was conducting large-scale metadata collection, meaning that the agency was collecting information about people’s phone calls and emails, even if those individuals were not suspected of any crime.
The revelations by Snowden sparked a heated debate about privacy and government surveillance, with many people expressing concern about the scope of the NSA’s activities. Most felt that the NSA was violating the privacy rights of US citizens and others.
Snowden himself became a controversial figure, with some people seeing him as a hero for exposing government secrets, while others saw him as a traitor who put US national security at risk. The US government charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property, and he was granted asylum in Russia in 2013.
The controversy surrounding Snowden’s actions continues to this day, with some people calling for him to be pardoned or granted clemency, while others believe that he should face the consequences of his actions in court. Many experts and organizations argue that Snowden’s disclosures were an important act of civil disobedience that helped to shed light on the scope of government surveillance and sparked a much-needed public debate about privacy and security.
The Snowden controversy has had a significant impact on the US government and its intelligence agencies, leading to increased scrutiny of the NSA’s activities and changes to US surveillance laws. In 2015, the USA Freedom Act was enacted, which imposed new restrictions on the NSA’s ability to collect metadata and increased transparency about the agency’s activities.
Snowden’s disclosures have had a lasting impact on the US government and its intelligence agencies, and the controversy surrounding his actions will likely continue for many years to come.
Regardless of one’s views on Snowden’s actions, his disclosures have played a significant role in shaping public discourse about privacy, security, and government surveillance.
Edward Snowden is currently residing in Russia, where he was granted asylum in 2013. He has been living there since the US government charged him with espionage and theft of government property for leaking classified information about the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs.
It is uncertain if Edward Snowden will be granted a pardon. The possibility of a pardon for Snowden has been the subject of much debate, with some individuals and organizations advocating for a pardon, while others believe that he should face the consequences of his actions in court.
The decision to grant a pardon ultimately rests with the President of the United States.
But he’s not the only one who’s been hailed as a hero defender of privacy and freedom, however.
Julian Assange rose to prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks released thousands of classified US military documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The release of these documents, which contained information about civilian casualties and other sensitive matters, sparked a major international controversy and raised questions about the US military’s activities in the region.
In 2011, Assange was arrested in the UK at the request of Swedish authorities, who wanted to question him in connection with sexual assault allegations. He spent several years fighting extradition to Sweden, and in 2012, he was granted asylum by Ecuador.
However, in April 2019, Ecuador revoked Assange’s asylum, and he was arrested by UK police. The US government also filed a request for his extradition, charging him with conspiracy to hack into a government computer.
The controversy surrounding Assange centers on questions of press freedom, national security, and privacy. Those who support Assange argue that he is a journalist and publisher who is being unfairly targeted for publishing information that is in the public interest.
They argue that the charges against him are politically motivated and that his extradition to the US would pose a threat to press freedom.
These controversies surrounding privacy remain highly debated, but over the years, most Americans have come to side with Snowden and Assange on these critical issues because they also don’t want to be unfairly spied on.
Polls show that since the Snowden controversy began, more and more Americans have come around to the idea that the government’s surveillance capabilities should be reined in and that Snowden ultimately shouldn’t be thrown in prison because of what he did.
What do you think about Edward Snowden and Julian Assange? Do you think they should be tried for crimes or do you think they had the interests of Americans at heart when they exposed the federal government spying on Americans?
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.