NSA: No Spying Allowed
You’re sitting at a coffee shop minding your own business, when a man approaches you confidently and greets you by name. Slightly caught off guard, you respond, “Hello? Do we know each other?” He laughs, “Know each other? Why, I’m by your bed every night plugged into the wall. I’m with you for every question you’ve ever asked online, every message you’ve shared in email, any comment you post on a friend’s picture.” Confused, you reply, “I don’t understand.” “You don’t have to understand,” he says with a smile, “you just have to be a compliant citizen.”
This is an emotional appeal to the argument that there should be no spying allowed on citizens. If you found yourself alarmed by this mysterious coffee shop patron, then, you too may believe there should be no spying allowed. Besides being creepy, it’s legally an intrusion on privacy and abatement of constitutional rights. NBC News reported last week that Federal judge, Richard Leon seems to agree, having ruled Monday, Feb. 3, that the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance violates protection against unreasonable searches.
One would be hard-pressed to find good reasons for this. Any information released from government agencies, including and especially the NSA, is likely filtered or redacted to the point of no return. Equipping oneself for an argument for the NSA is like setting sail on a ship with holes in the bottom. Amy Davidson, a writer for The New Yorker, humorously wrote last December, “If the National Security Agency says that it is not ‘intentionally’ doing something—say, collecting records of the locations of Americans’ cell phones—then it is almost certainly taking that very action.”
We needn’t any information divulging the depths to which the NSA is surveying citizens, companies, and organizations; we may simply bring into the light the indirect results of their handiwork. Look to the Wall Street Journal and its recent reports on the negative impact on the American economy the NSA has caused.
An article from Tuesday, Feb. 4 investigates the results NSA spying has on technology companies offering services to other countries. Michael Hickins said, “Germany’s new governing coalition has issued a policy document that includes a call of using more technology developed in Europe…Lawmakers in Brazil have been debating a bill that would require data about Brazilians to be stored within that country’s borders.” As long as countries continue to displace trust in American technology companies such as Google, Salesforce, Amazon and Microsoft, citizens can expect that international trade will be harmed.
An article from Sunday continues to address the waning relationships the United States has with other countries, such as Germany. Matthew Karnitschnig reports, “The outcry over NSA eavesdropping has been most pronounced in Germany… German media carry daily updates on the affair and Mr. Snowden, who two weeks ago appeared in a lengthy prime time interview with a public television broadcaster, is hailed by many here as a folk hero who should be granted political asylum.”
And who can argue with Germany for crowning Edward Snowden? For a man that has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize on eight public occasions (see: freesnowden.is), it’s hard to reason that what the NSA is doing is honorable or necessary, nonetheless.
In summation, when you consider the pros and cons of the National Security Agency, remember these points: the man who blew the lid on the agency deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, the actions of the NSA are weakening the American economy and the government is permitting the violation of your right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. If you’re not swayed by this, think back to the coffee shop. They’re watching.