Snowden’s efforts don’t quite warrant Nobel Prize

Snowden’s efforts don’t quite warrant Nobel Prize

Kevin Griffin

A new twist has emerged in the saga of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The man who is considered by some to be a hero and by others a traitor has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian officials, according to The Guardian.

Snowden has been a polarizing figure, particularly in the United States where 61 percent of people believe he should be tried in the United States, and only 23 percent believing Snowden deserves amnesty, according to CBS.

So much of this debate about Snowden centers on whether he is a hero or a criminal.

Really, he is both. While he has violated the law, his disclosures have created a situation where some of the more detestable acts of the U.S. government have come to light.

But I am not sure that this should necessarily qualify him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Snowden has certainly made worthwhile contributions to the world, but I don’t think we know yet what his contributions to world peace are.

Snowden’s efforts have had much more of an impact on the idea of freedom and how freedom is controlled and exercised in the digital age. His disclosures have allowed U.S. citizens to see the amazing extent of surveillance programs, igniting a debate about the legality and propriety of the government.

We have learned that the government is collecting the data of Verizon customers and general user data of Americans from across a wide range of technology services, according to The Guardian.

In the last few months, we have seen some indication that there may be some changes with this situation.

In December, two federal judges gave differing opinions on the constitutionality of the surveillance program, according to The Atlantic. This means that we could see in the not so distant future a court case addressing this defining issue of our time.

Snowden’s work has certainly had an impact on the U.S. and the world, and I am glad he is receiving recognition through this nomination, but I still believe he does not quite deserve the award himself because of the questionability of contributions to the cause of peace.

We must also consider the possibility that the nomination may have been made to spite the U.S.

After all, how would it look if Snowden did end up winning the prize and the U.S. were to jail him at some point in the future?

Despite this, Snowden has still done a service to the U.S. and likely the world, though I do not think his actions rise to the ideally high standard one would hopefully reserve for Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Kevin Griffin, a sophomore journalism major from Madison, is an opinion writer.