NSA: National Security or National Stalkers?
In 2010, it became legal for the National Security Agency (NSA) to access private email logs, social media accounts and other internet databases (Risen & Poitras, "N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens). Risen and Poitras (2013) explain that the intention of this change was to help protect the United States (U.S.) from future terrorist attacks and was for the general purpose of national safety. It is unclear how many terrorist attacks all of this new intelligence has actually prevented, however, it is very clear that the NSA’s actions are violating the privacy of not only American citizens, but everyone who lives on American soil. With the internet as a resource, this means that they can not only listen in to conversations, but access virtually any data that is entered via the internet. This includes credit card numbers, GPS coordinates, flight destinations, contact information for family members, personal pictures and much more. The NSA not only violates the constitutional rights of American citizens, it puts everyone in the country at great personal risk for crimes such as fraud and discrimination.
One of the greatest issues with the access the NSA has is that it violates the constitutional privacy laws. The fourth amendment to the Bill of Rights, protects the American people “...against unreasonable searches… but upon probable cause…” ("The Bill of Rights: A Transcription"). Risen and Poitras (2013) reveal that the NSA is not even required to check that the individuals they gather information about are foreigners or have anything to do with foreign relations. This extensive access to all personal data including bank accounts, GPS coordinates and insurance information is the definition of an unreasonable search without probable cause. Everyone’s information is collected and stored before there is any reason for the government to search for it. This is in direct violation of the people’s
Cited: "The Bill of Rights: A Transcription." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 31 Aug. 2014. . "The Constitution." The Constitution. Web. 01 Sept. 2014. . "Jon Stewart Slams Obama 's Domestic Spying Program." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 01 Sept. 2014. . "The NSA 's New Spy Facilities Are 7 Times Bigger Than the Pentagon." Defense One. Web. 02 Sept. 2014. . Risen, James, and Laura Poitras. "N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 Sept. 2014. .