Snowden and the NSA

A mere nine months ago no one knew the name Edward Snowden. Now not a week goes by without a news story related to his revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA). No doubt your class has already begun to ponder the implications of NSA information gathering and what it says about our system of governance. Does the executive branch, which controls the NSA through the Department of Defense, have too much power? How do we resolve the tension between liberty and security? Is Snowden, who released classified information, a traitor or a whistleblower? Were his actions morally justified? Please click the download button to see the full lesson, resources, and discussion questions.

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Handout (PDF)


News Stories

NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans’ calls and emails – Clapper
The Guardian

Obama’s Restrictions on NSA Surveillance Rely on Narrow Definition of Spying
The Washington Post


NSA Files: Decoded

Timeline of Edward Snowden Revelations

Privacy Compendium