NSA Surveillance Pros & Cons: A Georgetown Professor Weighs in on Eric Snowden
The rhetoric about Eric Snowden's whistle blowing on the NSA's blanket internet surveillance has ripened during these past weeks since Snowden's revelations. Regardless of political party, mainstream media and Republicans like former Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senator John Boehner and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein have referred to Snowden as a traitor. They do not believe him to be a whistle blower. They do not believe he is defending and serving the public interest in revealing the NSA's surveillance of innocent, suspicionless Americans. Reports have discussed the Presidents's stating the program was transparent. Today, the NSA Gen. Keith Alexander defended the program's protections.
Other politicians and reporters have defended Snowden and called him a hero. Democratic Senators Mark Udall (Colo.) and Ron Wyden (OR) are introducing a bill in Congress this week which will limit the federal government's authority to collect data on Americans. Wyden said that revelations about the NSA's phone records collection program and data-mining of electronic communications overseas have "made clear to the American people that the law is being interpreted in a way that damages their civil liberties and that the system has been set up to keep Americans unaware of the intrusion."
A dispassionate, apolitical voice of reason, Professor Marcia Miceli of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is an expert in organizational behavior, whistle blowing and organizational wrong doing. With her colleague Professor Janet Near at Indiana University, Professor Miceli has researched and written about whistle blowing extensively. In a June 14, 2013 phone interview Professor Miceli spoke with me about whistle blowing and Eric Snowden. She made these points.
First, Professor Miceli stated that according to their (Miceli & Near) research definition, "Eric Snowden is a whistle blower." This was affirmed by GAP, the Government Accountability Project, which helped defend and exonerate other NSA whistle blowers deemed "traitors."
Second, when I attempted to discuss Snowden's motivation for whistle blowing, Professor Miceli made this point. She affirmed the necessity of keeping proper, rational focus that Snowden exposed an illegal governmental act. She maintained that focusing on Snowden's motivation distracts and misdirects from the wrong doing that is currently happening. The NSA is committing illegality against the American people. She affirmed the importance of Snowden's actions as a whistle blower to expose wrong doing which threatens Americans' constitutional civil rights. Americans, prior to Snowden's revelations did not know about the widespread surveillance being conducted by the NSA in which our e-mails and other forms of electronic communications were and still are being swept up, regardless of our innocence or the great unlikelihood that they are a threat to National Security. Snowden revealed this. The NSA is committing wrong doing.Continued on the next page