If you go telling secrets behind someone’s back and they find out, they might never want to see you again. On the other hand, they might be very keen to get their hands on you so they can give you what’s coming to you. This is essentially the choice which Edward Snowden has given the United States.
The former employee of the National Security Agency has said that he might be willing to return to the United States, but only on one condition. The computer professional has made it known that he would only return if he was guaranteed the chance to defend himself, and his actions, in court. Snowden said that he wants a fair trial, and for his fate to be decided by an impartial jury.
What Happened with Edward Snowden?
If you’re unfamiliar with the name, you still may have heard Edward Snowden’s story. He is the former NSA contractor that blew the whistle on the US government’s activities.
Back in 2013, Snowden was based in Hawaii at a branch of the NSA. There he was privy to a great deal of information regarding the US’s surveillance practices, many of which involved the cooperation of telecommunications companies.
Believing that the NSA was overstepping moral boundaries when it came to invasion of privacy, Edward Snowden copied confidential files and then flew to Hong Kong in May. From his new situation he made the copied files public in June, before continuing on to Russia. Russia then granted Snowden asylum, and he has since been living there.
However, now Edward Snowden has revealed that he would return to the United States if he could be guaranteed a fair trial – a move that indicates that Snowden still believes he did the right thing.
Would Edward Snowden Win His Trial?
The United States has not been silent with regards to its position on Snowden, and has revealed that he has violated the Espionage Act of 1917 as well as committing theft of the property of both international governments and the US government. So, if it was left to the US alone, Snowden could realistically be looking at a prison sentence of up to thirty years.
However, if left to a jury, Snowden’s chances might be slightly better. Many people side with Snowden, and feel that he did the right thing in exposing the US government’s violation of its people’s privacy. However, there are those that feel that Snowden limited the US’s ability to expose terrorists.
So, coming back to the US would be a risk for Snowden, but it appears like it is one he is willing to take. In either case, the US has been silent with regards to his offer to return, so he might not be setting foot on US soil any time soon.
Image credit: http://www.theverge.com/tldr/2015/10/1/9434581/edward-snowden-twitter-47GB-email-notifications-whoopsies