NSA to continue its surveillance program
Posted on July 25th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

Lawmakers in the USA have voted to reject a proposal that would have restricted the NSA’s (National Security Agency) ability to collect information recorded from every call made by or to a US phone. The total vote count was 205 for the proposal, and 217 against the proposal.

Defending the program

Defending program, Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee stated, “Have 12 years gone by and our memories faded so badly that we forgot what happened on September 11?” –  . This was part of a heated debate regarding the vote to restrict NSA’s data gathering program. Despite all of the advanced data gathering tools available, it still took more than a decade to find Osama bin Laden. Iraq was invaded on false pretences and after more than a decade is worse off than before, while the country where the majority of 9/11 hijackers came from is left untouched. And now, after everything that has happened, the Americans are talking about negotiating with the Taliban.  It seems like a lot of things have been forgotten.

 Justifying the program

The only thing that appears to be standing between the U.S. people and ‘terrorist’ onslaught is secret spying. Or that’s the impression created by NSA Director General Keith Alexander, as he vigorously defended the NSA’s spying programs, insisting that it helped ward off 50 international terror attacks and 10 attacks within the US at a Congress hearing in June. The NSA should publicize the findings of these 50 international attacks and 10 domestic attacks that they thwarted with the help of their surveillance programs, and give credibility to the good Director’s statements. 

 Silence on the violation of the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment of the US constitution reads “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”

The Fourth Amendment was implemented to create a buffer between American citizens and the intimidating power of law enforcement).

  1. This Amendment recognizes the privacy of US citizens (secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.
  2. It protects this privacy by prohibiting searches or seizures that are unreasonable or are not authorized on a warrant based on probable cause.
  3. it states that no warrant may be issued to a law enforcement officer unless that warrant describes with particularity “the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.   

The US government and the NSA are not just party to the violation of the constitution; they have implemented policies on the whims and caprices of government officials.

At the end of the day, the American’s themselves should decide if they like being spied on Big Brother, if they like having their constitutional rights violated, and if these surveillance programs have indeed made their lives any safer.

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