- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 06 April 2016
- Written by BRETT O’GRADY | OPINION EDITOR
Quite recently, it has been discovered that the government has easy, convenient access to the private lives of basically all citizens of the United States. There is said to be a massive building in Utah where the government monitors everyone’s social media, webcams, cell phone text messages, calls and other data. While there is much speculation and debate on the subject, the government should have every right to peer into any individual’s Internet use, or private cell phone information.
To start off, it is well known that there is a sizable party against the National Security Agency (commonly referred to as NSA) being able to access to United States citizen’s personal information. There is a very negative connotation that comes with a government viewing conversations and information. A lot of people relate it to George Orwell’s famous ‘Big Brother’ character in his novel 1984. Some might argue that this is an outrage and an invasion of privacy. However, I find all these uncertainties and fears are ridiculous. The only people that should be worried are the people that are involved in any kind of suspicious activity; people who are abiding by the law should have nothing to hide. Ben Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and while it may have been relevant and true in the seventeen hundreds, it is not now. We live in an entirely different day and age with all our technology and advancements. The people are not giving up their liberty, and the safety is permanent, not temporary anymore.
The fourth amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects” and the government is only enforcing the statement. The NSA is just going to greater measures to ensure the security of the people. They are not looking in regular citizens’ personal information, just to find their dirty secrets and laugh about them with their own friends. That is not the point of this. It is the NSA’s job to be professional and secure the nation. It is a federal right and promise to keep the citizens safe.
Now think back to the disastrous morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a devastating morning followed by a never-ending period of suffering that still lingers to this day. During that clear skied morning, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks, planned by the Islamic terrorist group calledAl-Qaeda, were initiated upon the United States in New York City and Washington, D.C. The attacks killed close to 3,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage. The United States has seen terrorist attacks before. The country has felt the devastation that 9/11 brought with it. With the NSA having the easy access they do to private information, this creates a great ability to be able to prevent any more terrorist attacks taking place.
When you analyze the benefits and also the drawbacks of the NSA’s “spying,” you find that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. The government having access to peer into any individual’s Internet use, or private cell phone conversation and information could keep the nation so much safer. Citizens can live with a real sense of security rather than a false one. The people of the United States need to just come to terms with the fact that the NSA is just the big brother that walks you home from school and makes sure to hold your hand as you cross the street.