Because social media so eagerly displays our personal information, many wonder why it matters that the government is tracking and monitoring it’s own citizen’s phone calls and emails.
Although it is a misconception to believe the NSA is listening to every routine communication we have, they are however compiling massive amounts of data on US citizens based on when and where people are making calls, along with their duration. Just months prior to this information being leaked by whistle blower Edward Snowden, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper denied that his agency was monitoring communications of US citizens
For one I believe the US’s intelligence agencies need access to the corners of our communications in order to monitor the multitude of threats against the United States and thus stop them. I do not believe the threat of terror is overblown and think we as a people have become lulled into complacency because programs like PRISM have been successful in finding terrorists. That being said, I think they can monitor and track the bad guys without putting a drag net over the entire country while erasing our privacy.
I think American’s don’t mind being monitored because they say “Hey, I don’t have anything to hide.” But that’s the exact reason you should NOT be monitored, tracked and recorded. If you are not an enemy of the state and you are a US citizen you are protected from illegal search and seizure and have a right to privacy; you are not a subject. The leaders in Washington are elected to keep us safe, but we as a people have to ensure they do not overreach their bounds in that quest thus tipping the balance of power from the individual to the state. Democracy is a balancing act between freedom and safety, with privacy being a paramount aspect of freedom. In order to maintain our power as the people we must demand privacy, for safety is only genuinely enjoyed if you are truly free. – DH