Last week, The Guardian broke the news that the National Security Agency has been collecting data from the phone records and online activity of American citizens as part of a larger surveillance program. While this threw everyone for a loop, the NSA argues that these top secret programs are not only legal, but necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. Obama stands behind them.
The man responsible for the leaks is Edward Snowden. Some, including — surprise — Snowden himself, think he did the right thing (“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things,” he said). Some, like New York Times columnist David Brooks, call him a traitor: “He betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed.”