Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The National Security Agency has been traced as far back as 1917 when America first started fighting in World War I. The organization’s work has been very discreet in the American public up until June 2013. A former employee for the NSA, a man named Edward Snowden, revealed to the public about what work the NSA was really doing; searching through people’s personal devices and snooping in other countries as well. Snowden released revelation after revelation to the New York Times newspaper which sparked outrage across the country. Marked as a traitor by the US government, Snowden fled to Hong Kong, but he is currently being held in Russia and has been granted asylum. However, his actions, in the eyes of Solhjell (a former environment minister) and Valen, have “contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order”, and Snowden is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (The Independent). Due to the actions of Edward Snowden, the US is now aware of the NSA tapping into the public’s phones and the public is doing what they can to stop the snooping.
The NSA’s snooping in personal devices have caused eruptions of concern amongst the public and one of the biggest is personal privacy. Last December, a US judge delivered the NSA its first legal blow against its phone data collection program. The case made it clear that the NSA’s work interferes with a US person’s liberty and has been deemed unconstitutional. The NSA phone data collection program PRISM has been collecting data about every phone call made in America and these records are kept by the government. According to Al Maurer, “Personal privacy, personal space is rapidly shrinking. The only thing protecting you is the Constitution” (The Washington Times). The NSA’s PRISM program is seen as unconstitutional all across America for their interference of personal space, but what many people don’t realize is that their snooping could be a factor to stopping a future act of violence in America that can be very extreme.
The NSA is being persecuted for its snooping among people’s personal devices, but the agency claims that their work is vital to our country’s safety. In some ways, this statement is true. The “snooping” that the NSA is doing can actually help intercept any calls, messages, etc. that can be pinpointed to a future act of violence against the US. Some people really understand what the NSA is really trying to do and these people criticize the American public of blindly hating an organization that is dedicated to the country’s safety.
Despite the good things that the NSA survelliance can bring, I think the snooping has gone over the line. Thanks to Edward Snowden, the public knows about the NSA’s wiretapping and people are able to start movements that protect their personal rights. The public also knows that they can take a stand against things like the PRISM program to protect their rights. However, at the same time, people can’t blindly hate the NSA because their work could protect the public in the future. Modern society and government needs to find the balance of what the NSA can and can’t look at; the balance between surveillance and what’s sacred.
Conclusion & Reflection
The National Security Agency has been doing many things that invade many people's privacy. This relates to Digital Citizenship because we talk about how we try to keep online privacy away from getting into the wrong hands of other people or groups. What the NSA does completely takes away that online privacy. This made me feel like that I no longer have any personal space and privacy anymore. I'm sure that many people feel the same way. That's why the NSA's snooping should be limited so they can't gather all the information they can get about an individual. But then again, their work is also helpful a little. I just hope that sometime in the future, we as a nation can solve this issue and find a balance of power for people and the NSA.
The comments that were posted on my blog really challenged me to rethink some of the concepts I researched during this project. Some of the questions were like should the NSA's snooping be illegal? Why do you think Snowden did what he did? How would the world be without the NSA and their snooping? These questions really helped me to better explain some of my key points. I'm really glad about how these comments have helped me to better myself with this project. I hoped that my blog has done more to spread awareness about the NSA's real work and that people will take a stand against it.
This entire process of writing, editing, and commenting on Blogger went great. Google Docs helped me make it easier to write a rough draft, edit that, then finish a final draft which I could easily transfer to Blogger.The other thing I liked about Blogger was how I learned about some other issues involving digital media and how they are affecting my everyday life. I had a load of fun doing this project and I really enjoyed learning about the world of digital media.