Government Surveillance In America Pros And Cons

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Why did a government surveillance official lie to America? In March 2015, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared the National Security Agency (NSA) does not “collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans” (Engler). Then Edward Snowden revealed that truthfully, plenty of data was being collected and surveyed by the government through the bulk collection of private phone information. James Clapper later stated he “misunderstood the question” (Engler). Not only does this spark rage, but also reveals that the government has been using its resources to data mine at the ignorance of citizens, where a computer algorithm tries to find potential threats in hopes of stopping terrorism. Additionally,…show more content…
The USA Patriot Act has been “secretly interpreted to authorize the collection of Americans’ phone records” on a massive scale, which shows a reckless abuse of power because there is no way that “all [citizens’] phone records can be relevant to any particular authorized investigation” (“The Pros and Cons” 1). Most importantly, a “three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals” concluded on May 7, 2015 that the NSA “engaged in repeated, substantial legal violations” of privacy with their bulk data collection program (“The Pros and Cons” 1). The government is performing illegal activity in hopes of catching illegal activity. Why is there so much irony in their actions? Simple logic takes play here: the law should not be broken by the government. They cannot be trusted to responsibly handle sensitive data when they lack respect for the law and lack respect for…show more content…
Apple letting the FBI into their system to see terrorist data poses extreme risks, because as soon as Apple has “a back door installed, all kinds of people can walk in” (“Apple vs. The FBI”). Essentially, if the government can invade privacy, untrustworthy people can as well. Most importantly however, there must be limits placed on what the government can do, lest they infringe the basic rights of citizens. How can anybody stand having their data mined without consent? The government knows “Americans’ social connections … their associates, their locations at certain times, their travelling companions, and other personal information” (Engler). They know the whereabouts of innocent people. Does this not create an unsettling discomfort? Frighteningly, there are no limits on what the government can see, there are no limits on how far they can go to invade privacy, and there are no limits on what they can do with their citizens’

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