Treason refers to a crime against one’s country which one owes allegiance. Treason occurs if and when one joins an enemy in waging war against the country, assist or support the enemy. Mostly, it occurs during the attempts of overthrowing or killing the sovereignty or government of the state. This can include issues like divulging the country’s military secrets or giving to an enemy information that can potentially harm national security. The severity of the crime is from the individual involved being disloyal to his or her own country mostly if the act can assist the enemy in defeating the government. This act is considered by most countries as severe as it is the betrayal of one’s own country because it can affect the country’s wellbeing.
Edward Snowden’s actions do not fully meet the definition of treason. The actions of Edward Snowden do not qualify as waging war against America. This is because a case for war requires men and force assembled as per U.S laws when the prosecution of Snowden was only about the release of certain documents. Snowden could have been guilty if he had abated or helped a country at war with America. Therefore it should have been established that Snowden was assisting or aiding an entity fighting America. Snowden did not release information to a specific enemy but leaked the documents to the world. He did not have the intention of betraying the country but tried to pass information to the public. To say his actions sum up as treason requires proof that he had intentions of betraying his country which was not the case. Snowden’s crime if any should be espionage because he managed to obtain government confidential secrets and information without the government’s permission who in this case was the holder of this information.