Over the last few weeks American citizens have become aware of the National Security Agency’s intrusion into our everyday lives. It all sounds like something you thought could only happen in a Hollywood movie but appears that the U.S. government is keeping tabs on everyone’s comings and goings. To what extent that we are actually being tracked has yet to be proven, it is still too early in all of this for anyone to know.
At first it was just believed that only certain customers from some phone companies were being targeted, but now it is believed that all major companies are involved. Government officials have also insisted that they are not listening to specific telephone calls, they are just looking for patterns of behavior.
When it was first announced that our government had been spying on its own citizens, some people were quick to condemn the current administration for what they believed to be another abuse of its power. It now is clear that this began under the previous administration and was part of the Patriot Act that was born out of the fear that surrounded the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11,2001.
Some people have been quick to point out that this is a clear violation of the Constitution, but others say this is what it takes to keep us safe in a post 9/11 world. Do we need to give up a little bit of our freedoms, or any freedoms at all? Should we allow this intrusion into our personal lives or are we heading down a slippery slope that it would be impossible to come back from.
It has also come to light that the NSA also has access to Google, Apple and Facebook with the ability to track what law abiding citizens are looking at. NSA officials have claimed that these communication surveillance programs have thwarted more than 50 potential terrorist events since Sept. 11, 2001. Only 10 of these attacks were set to take place within the United States. They have not yet been very specific on what attacks may have been stopped but U.S. government officials insist that we are safer now than we were before.