Edward been planned and Ecuador relinquished their trade aids

Edward
Snowden was a former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) based in
Hawaii who disclosed very confidential data pertaining to security. In June
2013, classified data began being released by the Guardian newspaper that had
Snowden as the source of their information. The newspaper firm revealed the
existence of various mass programs for surveillance that were operated by the
NSA in collaboration with a number of nations from Europe. The discoveries
brought to light PRISM, which is an immense secret electronic data program for
scrutiny under the confines of NSA, together with top-secret agreements made by
countries that exchanged surveillance information (Solms & Heerden, 2015). The
exposures negatively impacted the international relationship America had with other
countries. As a result, Brazil revoked a state visit that had been planned and
Ecuador relinquished their trade aids with the U.S. The disclosures also
affected some big IT firms based in the nation financially and particularly
those that focused on aspects of cloud computing. In general, all people,
organizations, as well as countries were affected by the coverages in one way
or another. A fraction of private email providers were compelled to shut down because
of fear for their secret information being publicized by the NSA and other
pressures emanating from the government. The faith that people had in security
experts in the country was likewise tainted. Snowden subsequently became a
polarizing figure with some professionals like those advocating for privacy
regarded him as a hero while officials from the government and politicians
branded him as a criminal. He was charged with three offenses and therefore
flew to Hong Kong and later to Russia as an asylum seeker. Despite the leakage
of information which was deemed confidential, the paper will argue that Snowden
was a hero.

The
fact that Snowden came out and acknowledged that he was the person behind the
disclosure of the sensitive info serves as a proof that he is indeed a hero. He
was well aware of the repercussions that he will have to face if he disclosed
his identity publicly and so had the option to remain as anonymous. He however
chose to reveal himself since he had the interest of the public at heart. According
to Greenwald et al (2013), Snowden
stated that his exclusive reason for coming out openly was to let the citizens
know of the happenings within the NSA which were both done in their account and
against them. He went ahead to assert that he gave up his discretion, safety
and freedom as he was unable to permit the American government jeopardize the
privacy, the liberty to freely use the internet and other basic privileges that
are entitled to individuals throughout the globe. Being a person of good morals,
he thought that the spying on people through massive surveillance technologies
that were being built in secret as not correct ethically and therefore had to
act.

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Snowden
played a key role as a whistleblower in enlightening the public that their data
were always being monitored and as such had to be careful of the content they
posted online or on their telephone conversations. By doing so, his motive was
not to bring down NSA or CIA but to have them limit their roles and
responsibilities to dangers that were really important through the use of means
that were least invasive. The citizens being aware of the actions by NSA meant
that they had the choice to make decisions on the boundaries of intrusions
(Knobbe & Schindler, 2017). Snowden was able to get support from nations
that thought that what NSA did was not appropriate. When he departed from Hong
Kong and was on his way to Moscow, his passport was revoked by the US and was
left without travelling means. Russia granted him a temporary asylum for one
year after he had been stranded at the Moscow airport for 39 days permitting
him to stay and travel within the country. So far, Snowden has received political
asylum applications to 27 dissimilar nations that were requested on his behalf.
Among the countries that have volunteered to give him a safe haven are
Venezuela and Nicaragua with Bolivia willing to offer him shelter should they
be asked to do so. Those are just but a few examples that function to show that
Snowden is in fact a hero admired for the courage he demonstrated for leaking
classified data that countries are keen towards helping him (Solms &
Heerden, 2015).

A
number of reforms have been made aimed at reinforcing the privacy of Americans
as well as the capacity of NSA to gather intelligence following the leak. The
modifications would not have taken place without the revelations made by
Snowden. The aides under the rule of President Obama were reluctant to
restructure mass surveillance and only became keen in doing the same after the
leaks. Because of Snowden, the NSA had no choice but to be transparent,
answerable and safeguard the privacy rights of citizens. It took strides that
were excruciating for them to come clean to the public and issue clandestine
documents of many pages in an open move aimed at clarifying the disclosures by
Snowden. The Congress stopped amassing phone call records of US inhabitants
following an external assessment which established that it had minimal
significance. Worth mentioning is the fact that owing to the exposures, the
government of America increased its perceptions on privacy. The documents that
were leaked by Snowden annoyed allies of the US government and ashamed
technology firms in the worldwide market. The Obama administration in reaction
to the incident rolled out new guidelines necessitating NSA to contemplate on
the privacy of all people in the globe. President Obama in August 2013 declared
that the intelligence surveillance programs for the public were to be revised
so as to reach an agreement between the defense of the safety and privacy of
Americans. In the changes, the government was forbidden from storing call
records in the country due to the likelihood of misuse.  In addition, NSA was barred from spying on
friends to heads of states and that extra security was to be awarded to
outsiders whose conversations were kept in the databases of NSA. As much as the
current regime of President Trump is a national rhetoric, it is adhering to the
rules (Edgar, 2017).

The
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) followed suit in making
modifications to their procedures. They made announcements on the 1st
of November, 2013 that an official appraisal on the development process of its
principles used in the endorsement systems that are encoded will be launched.
The evaluation likewise was thought to be a response that was attributed to a
New York Times article which highlighted that the security standards of NIST
cryptographic to be interfered with after the Snowden exposure. The revealed
information pointed out that processors were installed by NSA in partnership
with specific technological organizations whose identities were not
disclosed.  The aim of the collaboration
was to get hold of encrypted information through cryptographic algorithms that
were permitted by NIST by back door (Solms & Heerden, 2015).

In
conclusion, a hero is someone who is valued for the bravery they showed and
their deeds, which reflects the greater good of the community. Snowden fits that
description based on the many sacrifices he made just to make sure that the
world was informed of what was going on in NSA. By him deciding to be the
whistle blower, he was putting at risk his own job and life on the line. He
lost his job and hade to live as a refugee on foreign lands. But still he had
no regrets for the decisions he made as he believed what NSA was doing was not
ethically correct. Thanks to his disclosures, various bodies like the NSA and
NIST were prompted to review their policies and come up with new ones which
catered for the needs of all in society without infringing on their privacy
rights. They were to be held accountable to by the populace with regards to
data at their disposal. The steps taken by such agencies better qualify him as
a hero because without his insights on the breach of privacy that was being
undertaken by the NSA, none of the adjustments would have been effected. All
the changes made worked to benefit the common citizen whose confidentiality was
being violated.