Ryan G. Michigan

The Spying and the Lying

From the recent events with civilian monitoring by the NSA and leaks by people affiliated, the questions are: Should the government be able to monitor us? Should they be lying to us about it?

Dear Future President,

How far can they go? The U.S. Government I mean. How many rights can they keep pushing on? How many things can they keep hiding from us? One such thing is the past situation with the NSA. Recently, it has been disclosed that the NSA has been monitoring phone and internet records almost since since 9/11 without telling us. In order for us to find this out, a now fugitive, Edward Snowden, had to steal the information and release it to the public. With this said, the government should not monitor every little piece of our lives, and they most definitely should not lie to us about it. Which in this case, I would hope you can make a difference, specifically to stop.

First of all, many politicians would commonly agree that the phone surveillance performed by the NSA is a violation of the people's rights, freedoms, and privacy. Rand Paul, Republican senator, says, “I think when you have a fearful time or an angry time that people are coaxed into giving up their liberty.” This explains how people can be oblivious when being “protected” while realistically, they are being invaded. President Barack Obama is also against the spying by the NSA. He constantly pushed to pass the law that ultimately brought further collection of records to a halt. Reaching the spot where the NSA can still conduct investigations, however it is needed to be requested to private companies. Thus keeping Americans rights, privacy, and freedom in check.

Many NSA employees, specifically officials know that the phone and internet monitoring is not working at all. “It later emerged that some officials inside the NSA wanted to unilaterally stop collecting the records, both because they were concerned about civil liberties information and because they didn't believe the program was effective. So, the people running the program don't even see it as helping with terrorism. On top of this, the NSA is monitoring an insane amount of data and information. 29 petabytes per day to be exact. That's 1,048,576 gigabytes every day. This is absolutely nuts! And to think, none of that data is helping to fight terrorism. Obviously if it isn’t working.

In some cases, monitoring records may be essential if there is something going on with national security. However, as citizens, we have the right to know. Some government officials may say that they can't catch terrorists if they tell us how they are doing it. This may be correct, however this is a semi what free country. And whether or not they can catch terrorists should not infringe on our rights. Many find it very undesirable to have a government that lies to us. Olivia C. wrote a letter to the next president explaining her opinion on the Edward Snowden case. She said, “I cannot work for a government that lies to its citizens and punishes those who expose the corruption of epic proportions.” Olivia C. had formerly said her dream was to work for the FBI in the BAU. However, she has now changed her mind because of the behavior of the US Government with surveillance and dealing with issues such as the Snowden case. Many of us may have shared this desire to be a government agent. Being able to put criminals down legally and the adventure of going into the field. However, many may also agree that the idea of our government being corrupt or lying or spying on us would turn us from our burning desire.

I have a few last questions: How would you feel if you sat down, logged on to you computer, and opened an email to find a picture of you on your walk home attached? How would you feel if someone out there not at all connected to you knew where you are and what you are doing during your day? Many of us would feel very uncomfortable in the event that this happened. But how is the government's surveillance any different than this? They know where we are, who we call and what we do with our technology. Do any of us really want to be monitored like this. Isn’t this why we left the British rule in 1776 anyway? They had too much control over us. All of us, including you need to once again, stand up, because we shall not let the government monitor us so closely. And I would hope that you will not let them lie to us like they have in the past.


Ryan G.

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

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