Cyber Libertarianism; Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Privacy has become a huge issue with the growth of the global networks system. The ability of any node to contact any node on the network has allowed for soe users to extract data without permission. This in itself is goes against social norms and customs which were developed around a society with privacy as a strict concern. As privacy is a social demand, it became legislation for governments.


Edward Snowden in 2013 leaked information regarding top secret government surveillance programs. His leaks were centralized around the NSA (National Security Agency), a government organization dedicated to the surveillance and monitoring of possible terrorist connections. Snowden was a government contractor who worked for the NSA, as such the short of what he leaked was the sheer amount of personal information Governments had access to.


This is where the idea of Cyber Libertarianism comes into place. The ultimate question in place as a result of Snowdens releases is; does this release of information, something that is seen as espionage and could potentially harm the United States’ and its allies interests, justify the ends? Libertarianism is the idea that each person should be able to live their life as they choose. By releasing this information Snowden is promoting this lifestyle, allowing people to further make their own judgments of their governments by promoting the freedom of information.


In Snowdens case, he is seen from two points; a traitor to America or a whistleblower. The main argument of the Snowden traitor argument is that he illegally disclosed sensitive classified information to the public. People who see him as a whistleblower claim it is unjust to maintain and research information on citizens through spying.


In reality, Snowden is both. From an objective standpoint, Snowden did break the law to revel the information to the public, however on the other side of the same coin, this unveiling of information an extremely important in revealing the unethical practices by governments.




2013, What is the NSA controversy and what did Edward Snowden leak?, BoomerangBeat, Viewed 10th October 2014, <;


2013, What is Libertarian?, Institute For Humane Studies, Viewed 10th October 2014, <;


One thought on “Cyber Libertarianism; Do the Ends Justify the Means?

  1. another well written post, I like the title. Machiavelli suggest thought that the end always justifies the means haha. a really well researched post, was a pleasure to read. cant wait for more.

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