The Truth About the NSA
The government should worry citizens, by hiring people to hack into their lives. The National Security Agency, NSA, is “inside” everything from phones to major websites like Google and Yahoo. The NSA is responsible for code breaking and getting information from phones and the internet. The NSA has headquarters in the United Kingdom as well. They try to focus overseas instead of domestically to prevent any serious crime and to defend the UK’s economic interest. Because the NSA doesn’t trust its own U.S. citizens, violates the fourth amendment, and made programs to “hack” us, the NSA invades the privacy of citizens and should be stopped.
In December 2005, New York Times said that the NSA was engaged in warrantless surveillance of international communications, such as telephone calls and emails made within the U.S. (Desai 1). The surveillance group admitted to these actions but they weren’t punished and continued to collect data without constitutional safeguards (Schmidt, et al 109). President Bush was said to have defended the NSA in performing such duties and reported that it was important to the nation’s security and legal under the Patriot Act (Schmidt, et al 77). Of course President Bush would defend the NSA due to the Patriot Act, because he’s the one who signed the law that allows surveillance against crimes and terror. The National Security Agency violates the fourth amendment rights. The fourth amendment states that the right of the people is to be secure in their homes, papers, effects, and themselves against unreasonable searches and seizures. There can’t be any warrants unless there’s probable cause, supported by an oath and specifically describes where the search will be and what’s being obtained from it. In the 1700’s instead of the fourth amendment, there were writs of assistance, which were almost the same things as a warrant, but not as specific. The fourth amendment was developed in colonial times to keep British soldiers out of the colonists homes.
Currently, the NSA violates this right for U.S. citizens and is supposedly allowed to listen in on phone conversations as long as at least one party is a non-U.S. citizen (NSA files 4). It’s still wrong either way though, because Americans shouldn’t be involved in any of the NSA searches. It not only violates the fourth amendment, but it’s morally wrong to begin with. The NSA also installs clips on cables to listen to electric signals (Savage, et al 2). The NSA has tapped into many different communications over the past few years, such as Google, Yahoo, Verizon, and more. During June of 2013, for example, the NSA collected all phone calls through Verizon. They were authorized to collect data from both Americans and foreign nationals, threats or not. Phone numbers from both parties of every call made through Verizon were intercepted along with location data, call duration, and the time of a calls made or received (Greenwald 2). If that’s not unconstitutional, then what is? There are other laws made for this group specifically, such as the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act allows three different kinds of communications monitoring. The first deals with telephone conversations, then with face-to-face meetings, and the third with electronic communications, such as email and voicemail. The Patriot Act still requires court orders for monitoring certain conversations and meetings, but the act provides greater leniency in obtaining the necessary information. The operative phrase is that it provides leniency. Who’s to say that it’s not necessary information that they are using this for. The fourth amendment says no unreasonable searches and seizures, so isn’t retrieving every single call made through Verizon unreasonable? Other companies are starting to cooperate with the NSA too. They will go as far as legally able when it comes to giving out information (NSA files). Rules are broken everyday, but the government...
Cited: Desai, Anuj C. “Wiretapping Before the Wires: The Post Office and the Birth of Communications Privacy 60.2 (2007): 553-594. JSTOR. Web. 4/11/2013.
Schmidt, Steffen W., et al. American Government and Politics Today Texas Edition 2007-2008.
Wadsworth Pub. Co., 2007. Web.
Savage, Charlie, Claire Cain Miller, and Nicole Perlroth. “NSA Said to Tap Google and Yahoo
Abroad.” newyorktimes.com 30 Oct. 2013. Web. .
“The NSA Files Decoded.” The Guardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 2013.Web. 05 Nov.
Greenwald, Glenn. “NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily. The
Guardian.com Guardian News and Media, 2013. Web. 05. June. 2013.
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