Whistleblowers Compared to Edward Snowden

Decent Essays

Many have drawn comparisons between Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, and I have heard a few refer to him as “the Daniel Ellsberg of this century.” Snowden is responsible for revealing to the general public the acts of the National Surveillance Association (NSA) that many citizens felt was a violation of their individual privacy rights. Two questions arise from this contemporary issue. First, is the violation of privacy rights a form of state violence? Second, is living in the United States a form of consent? There are easy answers to these questions: yes the violation of privacy rights is a form of state violence, but the simple act of being a United States citizen is gives the government consent to collect one’s information. How is the invasion of privacy an act of violence? Violence has many definitions, but it can be understood as a force that “…forcibly interfer[es] with personal freedom.” In this case, if people have the personal freedom to maintain a certain level of privacy, then NSA data collection is surely inflicting violence upon people by infringing upon these rights.
However, according to Max Weber, the state (and thus the United States government) is a political organization that has the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence. Maximilien Robespierre builds on these ideas and maintains that terror (or violence) is a necessary component that every government employs in order to maintain order and ensure the survival of the Republic. We live a

Get Access