Friday, June 21, 2013

What will happen to Ed Snowden?

Is Ed Snowden a hero or a villain?  Good guy or bad guy?

He released information to newspapers that the US government was 'spying' on people in the USA.  President Obama has denied that US citizens are being monitored, but it looks as if the US government has been secretly gathering information from telephone records and the internet.

This is just one of several recent scandals that the Obama administration has had. 

The US government would now like to arrest Snowden and throw him in jail.  Russia has suggested they might offer him political asylum and Iceland is also considering this.

What do you think?  Should Snowden be protected from the US government?

The article (there are three pages to this article after you click on it):

Vocabulary to help you understand the article: 

a villain - a bad guy. (pronounced: VIL in)

to spy on - to secretly watch someone is to spy on him/her.

to deny - to say that something didn't happen.

to be monitored - to be watched or to have one's actions followed.

a scandal - a situation in which a famous or powerful person gets into trouble.

to arrest - when the police capture or take a person into custody.

political asylum - when one country gives a safe place to live to a person who is being threatened by his/her own government.

to hang in the balance - to be uncertain.  If something is hanging, it could remain hanging or it could fall.

the fate of - the fate of a person is what ultimately or finally will happen to a person.  Fate usually has a bad connotation or meaning.  Destiny usually has a good connotation or meaning.

a contractor - someone who works for a company that signs a contract to do a job for the government.

a whistle-blower - someone who reports something that is wrong.

an intermediary - a third person who represents Snowden.  He is intermediate between Snowden and other people.

to extradite someone - this is when a person who is hiding in another country is forced to go back to his own country to face justice.

concrete ways to get into the country - real, actual ways.

to disclose - to reveal, to show, to tell.

a bid - an attempt.

an intelligence leak - this is when secret information gets out into the public - like a liquid leaking from something.

to be cornered - to be stuck in one place; to be stuck in a corner.  To be unable to move.

subsequent -  following.

to amplify - to make something bigger.  Rock musicians use amplifiers to make the sound of their music louder.

repercussions - consequences.  Results - usually negative results.

intruded on the rights of citizens - to intrude is to go somewhere where you are not supposed to go.  The government should have allowed people to have their privacy, but intruded into their privacy.

classified materials - secret material.

surveillance programs - programs to watch what people do.

a threat - a situation which can cause harm to someone.


Would you have done what Snowden did?  He learned that the government was doing something wrong and he reported it.  Wasn't that the right thing to do?

Should the government of the USA just leave Snowden alone?  Will your opinion of Obama change if he has this person arrested because the person did what he thought was right?

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