Commenting on two classmates discussion regarding the Edward Snowden case.


Question Description

Review the posts of your fellow learners and respond to at least two. What factors do you think may influence these different assessments of the Snowden case? In your response posts, you must do one or more of the following:

  • Ask an analytical question.
  • Offer a suggestion.
  • Elaborate on a particular point.
  • Provide an alternative opinion supported with research.

Classmate # 1 Aryane

Edward Snowden is a former NSA employee responsible for leaking the existence of NSA surveillance of US citizens phone records to the news media in 2013. Snowden currently lives in Russia, where he fled to and gained asylum shortly after leaking the information (Fabion, 2015).

Snowden’s prosecution is controlled by statutory law. There are three sources of law; statutes, case law and regulatory law. Case law is defined by legal precedents in court cases, regulatory law is orders from the executive branch, and statutes are laws that are written by the legislative branch. Snowden broke written laws, he was eventually charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence, in violation of the Espionage Act (Fabion, 2015). Because Snowden broke these laws, he broke substantive laws, which are the laws that govern society.

It is debatable if Snowden violated moral laws. There are many people that believe Snowden betrayed the United States when he disclosed the NSA secrets, but there are many others who are thankful to Snowden for allowing the governments actions to become public knowledge. I will not share my personal feelings, but it is a common feeling that United States citizens like to know if they are being watched by the government.

Snowden cannot be charged and arrested by state law-enforcement because state law enforcement does not have jurisdiction over Snowden as he committed federal crimes. For this reason, he cannot be tried in a state court.

One of the criminal justice system’s main goals is to punish people that commit crimes (Gardner & Anderson, 2015). Because Snowden admitted to leaking the information, although he has not yet been tried, he is guilty of committing those crimes. This justifies criminal action against Snowden.


Fabion, J. (2015). White House stands firm on Snowden prosecution. Retrieved from

Gardner, T. J., & Anderson, T. M. (2015). Criminal Law (12th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Classmate # 2 Megan

To be very honest I did not and still do not know a plethora of information on the Edward Snowden case. I do, however, believe I know and understand most of the law about the case. This case is a Federal case and will be tried that way if he is ever apprehended. He was a federal agent and took an oath in which he broke along with committing treason among other crimes. If Snowden commits another crime, he can be arrested and charged by a state officer but as far as his federal crimes he cannot be tried by the state. However, he can be detained by a state officer to be extradited for his crimes. He would not be prosecuted in a state court system because the federal courts have jurisdiction. Since his case is so high profile, he could potentially be tried in a different jurisdiction federally. This case has violations in both substantive and moral laws for different reasons. First substantive laws are there to protect the individual and their rights to privacy, but as all the information he leaked, he put a lot of people in potential danger with little regard. Morally, especially in the US, traitors are not looked at very well. He committed treason and released information that effected our national security. Morally that is wrong and dangerous. Prosecuting Snowden would help show that what he did is a crime and that others who follow in his footsteps will also be dealt with. He also committed crimes in which he must answer to the law of the lands for. Some could also argue that Snowden is a potentially dangerous and harmful person. I think that since his status as a federal agent has changed and that he is known as a fugitive, I do not believe that he is still dangerous.

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Response to classmate # 1 Aryane
I agree with you that Edward Snowden is a former NSA employee who ...

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Excellent job

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