The biggest news story these past couple of weeks is the tale of 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked details of the U.S. government’s massive Internet and phone tracking programs before fleeing the country.
Snowden revealed the details of these monitoring programs to the media, including The Guardian News Organization. While some people see him as a hero for his actions – for protecting our civil liberties for instance–others see him as a traitor who has now put our country at greater risk for terrorist attacks.
You can also read more about this heated story and two different perspectives about his actions here:
Some questions for discussion:
- What do you think of what Edward Snowden did? Do you see him as a hero, traitor or something else? Why? What do you think should happen to him now?
- Do you think there are times when it’s OK for the government to keep secrets from citizens? When is it OK? When is it not OK?
- Have you ever shared a secret you weren’t supposed to tell? Why did you share it – did you think you were doing the right thing? Did you feel badly after or not?
- Whether ultimately judged right or wrong, from Mr. Snowden’s perspective, he made a decision he felt strongly was the right thing to do. Have you ever made a decision based on something you felt very strongly about? What was it? Or what is something you feel so strongly about you might be willing to break the rules for it?
- If you learned about something you believed was wrong and had to make the hard decision as to whether to tell anyone or not, who might you ask for advice? How else might you make such a decision?