Monday, July 1, 2013


What the National Security Agency is doing is awful. Citizens of the United States and foreigners should not have the NSA spying on their internet use unless there is evidence suggesting they may be a threat to national security. The problem here is the NSA is not only spying on people who may be a threat, they are spying on a large portion of the United States population .

The odd thing is there has been no uproar against private companies using a similar technique, except they are not using the information to protect national security they are using it for marketing. It seems as if people should be more upset that companies such as Microsoft and Google have virtually identical information that they glean using data mining, because they are less accountable than the government.

The reason companies can and should be able to do this is because we agree to their terms and conditions. In the terms and conditions we allow them to sell our information for marketing. If we do not want them to do this, we can simply not use the program but the government has never had us agree to anything saying they can spy on us.

We are protected from the government spying on us in this way in the fourth amendment when it says that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This says we are protected against unreasonable searches. What the NSA is doing is searching our internet activity without any warrant or probable cause, which is unreasonable. 

Edward Snowden, the person that released the classified documents that brought this information to light, did the right thing, but what he did was also illegal. He stole classified government property which is a crime and should be punished for it. Despite the fact he did the right thing, criminals must be given a fair trial and punished accordingly or else a precedent is set where not all criminals are punished because they did the "right" thing. 

The United States Government will continue to hunt Snowden regardless of what the American public wants, as they should, but the NSA and all those involved should be punished for what they have done.