April 16, 2014
“Government Surveillance on America”
Privacy has always been important in a civil respectable society. If that were true why it that the government feels it is okay to spy on its citizens? I am 110% against this. I find it extremely horrible that we are having our privacy compromised by the government. Ever since I heard about the former CIA employee leaked information about how the NSA is spying on citizens phone records. The government has also created a tool called PRISM. This tool National Security Agency (NSA) to collect private electronic data belonging to users of major internet services like Gmail, Facebook, Outlook, and others. This to me would raise a lot of questions and red flags to these strategies the government is using to find terrorist threats. I do appreciate that they try to keep us safe from outside threats, but spying on your own nation is crossing the line. If they keep getting away with this we might as well give in to the government and turn communist. We should put an end to this while we still have a chance.
The person who brought all this information out to light was former CIA employee Edward Snowden. It was on June 9th that Snowden confessed that he was the person responsible for leaking the information about the NSA storing metadata from virtually every cell phone in the U.S. Metadata is data that includes cell phone numbers from the caller and recipient, it also includes the duration of the call, it does not however contain the actual phone call recordings of the conversation. Major phone companies including, Verizon, At&t, and Sprint have turned over these records due to a court order which has forced them to comply. He also leaked information about a secret program called PRISM. This program allows the NSA to gain direct access to many social media companies direct servers, companies that include Facebook, Youtube, Skype, Google, Apple, and, Yahoo. With the access to these servers they have the ability to access and retrieve emails, photographs, and many other documents from millions of people. Many of the companies have denied these allegations of letting the NSA access their records. With Snowden releasing all this information many Americans have mixed opinions whether if he should be considered a hero or a traitor.
Not only has Snowden’s information he has not only shown that the government has been spying on its own citizens but also on allied countries. The U.S. has been reported to spy on government officials and citizens from countries including France, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. This has hurt the relationship with the countries in which would normally be a good alliance. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her outrage, once she learned that the NSA has been tapping into her phone for over ten years.
The surveillance scandal has not only hurt outside alliances with countries, but also many companies here in the country. Many giant tech businesses such as Cisco Systems and IBM have suffered due to the leaked information by Edward Snowden. With Snowden’s testimony stating that many tech companies have been cooperating with the NSA, have hurt the ability for American companies to sell items to outside countries. This has also made countries have companies create “NSA Resistant” products. Since the NSA was exposed companies like Cisco, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, have reported a decline of business in China. It is by The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation reported that this NSA imbroglio will cost U.S. businesses $22 billion dollars through 2016. Forrester research pegs potential losses at $180 billion dollars for tech firms.
Like it was said before many tech firms have had to try to develop NSA resistant products, especially since countries like China and Germany have threatened to