Since 9/11, Americans nationwide have valid concerns about terrorism. Some even believe that we have to sacrifice some of our basic freedoms in order to be fully protected from radical terrorist groups. This is where the NSA (National Security Agency) comes in. In recent news, the NSA and the Obama Administration have been under fire after Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents detailing morally-compromised surveillance techniques the NSA used that the American public were oblivious to. Obama is scheduled to announce NSA reforms on Jan. 17 in order to quell this controversy.
This Editorial Board believes that regardless of what President Obama says is going to change, the damage is already done. There is nothing he can say to smooth this over, and the astounding disapproval of the NSA will continue.
For those of you that do not know exactly what happened, here it is in laymen’s terms: Snowden led the charge against the NSA when he leaked classified documents detailing, as stated above, morally-compromised surveillance techniques the NSA uses on a daily basis. This included access to American Citizens’ Facebook, Google and Yahoo accounts, the recording of every day phone conversations and tracking of Americans’ online activity.
The NSA was also involved in spying on other countries’ prominent leaders without their consent, and a laundry list of other things that would take much too long to explain. To put it bluntly, if you did something somewhere, chances are the NSA knew about it. This caused uproar among the American people, causing Obama’s Approval Rating to plummet. Citizens feel that the government is using Counter-terrorism as an excuse to spy on their citizens. The surveillance is unnecessary and unconstitutional.
According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, a foundation committed to “defending your rights in the Digital World,” an AP poll that was held just a few months ago concluded that nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose the NSA’s collection of their phone calls and the tracking of their internet browsing.
All in all, people just do not like to be watched at all times, and who can blame them? The NSA is profiling citizens based on things like internet browser history, and it’s completely unnecessary.
When President Obama takes the podium on Friday and announces the “revisions” that he is going to incorporate, it is not going to change any opinions of him or the NSA. The government has been lying and spying on its citizens for years and what is going to stop them from lying to us again? It is impossible, at this point, to differentiate any fact from lie and the people do not know what to believe anymore. The government is going to have to do a lot more than a press conference to gain back the trust of the American people.