Thursday, October 31, 2013

The NSA Needs a Leash

View of the NSA building. Source: nsa.gov
The NSA has too much authority concerning the privacy of the US citizens, and the policies need to be changed because the NSA can spy on virtually anyone freely. The NSA is gathering information from US citizens daily.It is abusing Its rights as a government organization. The NSA is walking too far into the personal lives of US citizens and needs to be reprimanded. The NSA has also been taking information from different places including social sites and phone records, and the NSA thinks nothing of it. Be careful about what you're doing on the internet because it could be watching.

Former NSA Director and Department attorney John Yoo both went to newspapers to Defend the Presidential Surveillance Program, which is a set of programs which allows the NSA to spy on United States citizens. Millions of records can be gone through daily using this program to monitor whether or not you (the american) have been apart of any terrorist activity. Many pieces of information between you and the informant can be searched by this program, even the most personal things. These two do believe that there are some pieces of information about terrorist activity that can’t be attained without invading the Privacy of the US citizens. This should be a price both of us (the NSA and the US citizens) has to pay, because at the expense of our safety we get fairly extensive privacy.

Richard Epson and Roger Pilon say that invading privacy is indeed not necessary when you’re dealing with citizens that are working minimum wage jobs, but it is almost impossible to find the right balance of personal privacy and how much safety a government can provide. If too much power goes to the government then the people of the USA would have no privacy. But if the government doesn’t fiercely search everyone then there is always a chance that a terrorist will attack. While this is a valid reason for the NSA to exist the privacy of the US citizens should be the government's first priority should trust in its own people. The NSA shouldn’t be searching through mass phone records, they should be picking out the most significant ones that are most likely to cause a threat and only looking at those.

The NSA needs to stop spying on the citizens of the US because we (as US citizens) deserve the right to keep our personal information private. The NSA has multiple agents that have released information on what kind of information the NSA has access to. It is hard to balance the rights of the citizens and the power of the government but the citizens privacy should be a high priority. The NSA should only be checking information that have direct evidence of a terrorist attack, not going through mass records. While the NSA does have the responsibility to protect the US citizens, they are abusing that right, looking in on too much. US citizens shouldn’t have to monitor what they are about to say to the world or another person. But that’s just my opinion.
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Update: 11/14/13

Thank you everyone for commenting! I enjoyed reading and responding. The NSA has too much power concerning the privacy rights of citizens of the US. After reading your comments, my opinion has not changed about the NSA. I still believe that the NSA needs to be more careful about what they search through and why. Blogging has been a great learning experience for me. I feel like I'm actually talking to someone, whereas if you're writing an essay it isn't directly at anyone. I like blogging and feel like I could do it on my personal time as well. However, the place where I had the most problems was in writing the initial blog post itself, as there were a lot of holes in my blog at first, but I worked through it using extra research and a rework of my writing. Overall this experience was great and I think I'll do it again in the near future.

6 comments:

  1. I agree that it is not necessary for the NSA to know all of your personal information. Although it is uncomfortable knowing that the NSA is able to go through your personal information, it is very useful when it comes to safety. But it is unnecessary for them to have access to so much and as a US citizen I deserve my privacy.

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  2. Thank you for posting this blog, I enjoyed reading this. I totally agree that it is very unnecessary for NAS to spy and invade people's privacy. Do you think that NSA should be banned, so they can't spy on people? I think even though NSA can invade our personal information, it can also be useful for our safety in some ways, so I believe that NSA is good to have in US. Thank you and it provides something for me to think about.

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    1. Hi Lovely Park. Thank you for commenting on my blog. I don't think the NSA should be completely destroyed, but i do believe that the power that it has in spying is too great. The NSA should be able to find a way to keep us safe without putting our privacy rights in jeopardy. Thanks again.

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  3. Hello,
    Thank you for posting all of this great information on the NSA.
    First I would like to talk about the side of the operation that is spying on the US citizens as they say in this video (http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-201_162-2205/nsa-surveillance-exposed/).
    The FBI director states that “If the US had all of the equipment that it had now, they might have been able to connect the dots and could have stopped 9/11.” This would have saved thousands of lives and would have still given us information on Al Qaeda. For this reason, the NSA (National Security Agency) should be able to spy on the US citizens if it means keeping large numbers of them safe.

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  4. Hi, thanks for the post. It covers a very interesting, scary, and controversial topic. I thought you did a good job explaining the different sides of the issue and how they both have pros and cons. However, I think it would have made your argument a lot stronger if you had direct quotes, facts, and opinions from other sources. I agree with your post and think that it was very thoughtful. This topic is very hard to pick sides because as a US citizen I want privacy and safety, but I know that I can't have both. You mention in the first paragraph: "The NSA is gathering information from US citizens daily." Do you know the information that they are gathering? Strong post, good work.
    -Thing5

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    1. Hello Thing5, thanks for commenting! I have now incorporated links throughout the paper to try and explain my ideas a little more clearly. I read from one source that the NSA was collecting phone records in bulk and recording what you do on social media sites as well. Thanks,

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