Vlad B. New York

Domestic Surveillance

I wrote a letter to our next president about Domestic Surveillance, and why I believe its an issue

Dear President,

Domestic Surveillance is becoming a serious issue, and something needs to be done about it. It started from a state of drastic circumstances, which have passed long ago, but it’s still in act. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was meant to be used for National Security issues only, but it turns out that it is being used for Non-National security issues [Bier]. The FBI have asked corporations to turn over the data they have on their customers over to the FBI. They claim this is to identify potential terrorists and criminals. Despite what they claim, it has been ineffective for the most part. The National Security Agency (NSA) has been asking corporations for customer information as well. The three branches of Government are meant to keep this in check, but has proved unsuccessful thus far. When the power of the three branches is nullified, it leads us down a path to James Madison’s very definition of tyranny [Wyden]. Domestic Surveillance is a direct breach of the 4th Amendment, which protects our information and privacy within our houses. If one amendment is broken, what’s stopping other amendments from being broken? A mere generation ago, digital data did not exist, and our policies and practices are yet to catch up. The original Patriot Act was created around 9/11, and was meant to be reviewed and changed once panic settled down. But it was renewed before it could be reviewed, so it didn’t change, and it hasn’t changed. Your personal data is becoming less personal. The small risk of someone being a criminal shouldn’t compromise the privacy of all citizens and their data. If there is a data breach, all of our data is in trouble, and could be used against us. Some people aren’t worried about this issue at all, some saying that if you have nothing to hide, then you have no reason to worry about it. That’s like saying that it’s okay to take away free speech because you don’t have anything to say. One way to limit the power of the NSA could be to change who they can monitor. They could monitor those with felony charges, or just anyone with a criminal record. They could only monitor people through public security cameras, instead of inside people’s homes. I hope that the President has the courage to stop or to at least limit domestic surveillance. There needs to be change, and it needs to be soon. If nothing is done about this, American citizens will regret it down the line.