Edward Snowden is No Hero: Here’s Why

Here’s all I’m going to say about the Snowden Affair.

If Snowden had leaked sensitive information about particular capabilities of the U.S. weapons arsenal, a charge of treason would be easier to wrap your head around. I think we can agree that this isn’t much of a stretch.

The only difference here is battle space.

Now stick with me here while I think this through.

His leaks were initially about the U.S. spying on its citizens.  It has become about the broader cyber capabilities of the U.S. Government.

The U.S. has recognized that cyberspace is a legitimate battle space.  In response, U.S. Cyber Command was established essentially as a combatant command with cyberspace as its battle space instead of a geographical area of responsibility. (Think of U.S. Central Command whose geographical area of responsibility includes areas in the Middle East, except in cyber space.)

Cyberspace exists everywhere and has no geographical component.  Therefore, U.S. Cyber Command’s battle space exists wherever cyberspace exists and is essentially everywhere in the geographical sense.

Since Snowden leaked publicly with no geographical limitations, he provided information about U.S. capability to potential enemy cyber combatants — note I said “cyber combatants” — who can and do exist in the Cyber Command’s battle space and know no geographical limitation.

If he had just leaked about the government eavesdropping on U.S. citizens, then the case for treason is miniscule.  However, once he started leaking about the capability of the United States to wage war in cyber space, he crossed the line.

The case can be easily made that he provided information to the enemy. I don’t believe that’s a stretch at all.