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NSA surveillance Essay

There has been a ton of controversy surrounding the topic of the NSA. Throughout the history of the United States we have fallen victim to terrorist attacks and we cannot blame the governments desire to be ten steps ahead rather than 10 steps behind. The NSA’s main focus is our safety, they do not exist to infringe on our constitutional rights. Liberty and security go hand-in-hand; one cannot exist without the other.

People tend to approach this topic on a “national security v. civil liberties” meanwhile nothing says that both cannot exist together. It is absolutely possible to have national security while still preserving the civil liberties of the citizens. Everyone would like to live in an ideal world where the government takes an idealistic approach because that would mean leaving the people completely vulnerable to outside threats. What the people fail to realize is that modern terrorists online are a real risk to this country. They use the internet as a way to contact each other. The internet holds fatal information like how to make a bomb which anyone and everyone can have access to. Terrorists would also have access to most of the information needed about the enemy in order to make their attack successful. The media has portrayed the NSA as a negative and unnecessary agency meanwhile there is nothing negative and unnecessary about keeping this country safe. The NSA doesn’t target innocent Americans one by one. The NSA works solely for our benefit and safety.

If a person has nothing to hide there should be no reason to have a problem with the NSA and the things that they do. I do see how people can feel like it is an invasion of privacy but at the end of the day, would you want the NSA to check on you every once in a while or would you rather risk the possibility of a terrorist attack that can lead into millions of lives lost ultimately leading to war? The NSA is able to tap into anyone’s email and texts but they aren’t doing it with malicious intent, or to snoop in your business, they’re doing it solely for the reason of your safety and the safety of everyone else around you. Less than 30,000 people work for the NSA and there are 300 million people in the United States sending calls everyday, the chances of you getting monitored is the same as the odds of you winning the lottery.

The NSA does not care who you’re going to the movies with or what you are having for dinner. As long as you are not contacting terrorists groups or posing harm to the well being of this country you have absolutely nothing to worry about. In June of this year, whistleblower Edward Snowden, a worker for the NSA, leaked classified documents about the NSA’s procedures in online and telephone surveillance to a the Guardian, a British newspaper. Before the leak, however, no public knowledge of PRISM, the surveillance program controlled by the NSA, existed. There were no riots protesting a violation of privacy, only benefits. In fact, the NSA stopped numerous terrorist attacks before the leak. An example of this is that of Najibullah Zazi. Zazi was an Islamic extremist living in Colorado who planned to bomb the New York City subway in 2009. He was traced to Al-Qaeda operative in the Middle East and the NSA discovered information about the plot after monitoring him for only a short period of time.

Before the leak, the NSA was not harming anyone, and saving countless numbers of lives. Since 2001, the NSA records more than 50 classified cases of thwarted terrorist plots outweighing any potential harms of surveillance. It is impossible to satisfy every person in the country. People complain when there is nothing being done and they complain when a solution is found. This leaves the government stuck between a rock and a hard place. Realistically, the NSA doesn’t affect our lives on a daily basis. The chances of the NSA getting hacked are much more slim then the chances of an attack on the country. We all have to sacrifice certain things for the well being of the country as a whole and in this case privacy is worth sacrificing for safety. I’m sure no one wants to see a repeat of the tragedy that occurred on 9/11.

This country is the place we call home, and for people to say that privacy is more important than safety is selfish. The NSA has done nothing but prevent attacks on our homes. Instead of feeling like our privacy is being invaded we should feel a sense of safety. The government continues find new ways to improve then lives on the people that live in this wonderful country and I believe that they shouldn’t be scrutinized for it. National security is essential which has been shown in past experience such as the Boston bombing. There is no way the United States will ever be 100 percent protected but there are programs and agencies such as the NSA, which gives us an advantage. The NSA is vital in the security of this country and is in place only to protect you, me and all the other citizens of the United States.

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