Teaching Case - Hero or Traitor? Edward Snowden and the NSA Spying Program

Hero or Traitor? Edward Snowden and the NSA Spying Program


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  • Product Description

    On June 5, 2013, a London newspaper reported that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the U.S. The story was the first of many top secret revelations about the NSA's spying programs, leaked by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor. The case examines Snowden's actions and motivations and asks students to consider the repercussions of whistleblowing/leaking on the general public, the U.S. government, the NSA and Snowden himself.

    Learning Objective:
    By examining Snowden's motives as well as the repercussions of his actions, students can employ moral reasoning to evaluate Snowden's acts and consider how they themselves might act when confronted with an ethical dilemma. The case allows students to consider the conditions of justification and one's obligations to take ethically sound action.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: April 30, 2014
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 2018.0
    Case Author: Laura Winig
    Faculty Lead: Christopher Robichaud
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 34
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research
    _year: 2010-2015
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/2018.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/2018_2.pdf