I was not Interested In the privacy Issue until former NSA contractor Edward Snowmen publicly disclosed a large number of classified documents which are about U. S. Government implemented massive surveillance program toward American citizens and foreign countries. This incident was viewed as the most significant leak in America history and of course it has caused sensation worldwide. However, privacy issue doesn’t easily raise general publics attention due to it seems like don’t bring substantial bad consequence or effect our lives a lot.
After Snowmen escaped to Russia, he was called traitor whistler’s, dissident, and even a hero by different people. Consequently, there has been a fierce debate about whether he should be punished by law or be protected as hero of whistler’s. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming concern their privacy would be Invaded. Many people are skeptical that American government’s massive surveillance programs are Illegal and should be stopped to protect citizens’ privacy right.
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However, on the other hand, others may think current surveillance programs are necessary because It can improve national security which is prevent people from terrorism attack, and at the same time can help country to gain favorable position under fierce international competition. These debate help me come up with a question: Should U. S. Government reform its surveillance policy? In order to answer my question, I have decided that I need to truly investigate the American government’s surveillance programs and the impact on us.
To begin with, because I was Curious about who Snowmen is and what the NSA organization does. I started to search for more information about them. I found a couple of articles that were useful for me. The first one Is on The New York Time’s website and was written by Paul Grumman this year. This article which Is named “Edward Snowmen, Whistle-Blower” gives me some basic Information about Snowmen. According to Grumman, Edward Snowmen who Is former contractor of NSA disclosed lots of classified documents to media since June 21, 1983.
These documents revealed NSA has eavesdropped hundreds of millions of people globally, collect information from people’s phone calls, emails and text messages (par. 10-1 3). Now Snowmen has exiled to Russia for asylum as he is probably facing the prospective of spending the est. of his life in prison after going back to America. The other article named “What is the NSA controversy and what did Edward Snowmen leak? “. It was written by Awaked Gray. Gray points out the NSA is stand for the National Security Agency which is an intelligence agency in the U. S. Government.
Ana’s main responsibility is collecting and analyzing foreign communication In order to protect America (par. 8). As Snowmen has become American government’s most wanted people to be captured now, consequently I wondered what exactly Information did Snowmen leak. However the two sources I have found so far is not enough. They just give me some for more information. I came across an article on National Journal ‘s website that was ruttier by the Dustin Vole, “Everything We Learned From Edward Snowmen in 2013” is perfect source for me to assess have two reasons. Firstly, it lists lots of information about what did Snowmen release to public.
Secondly, the author Vole was former reporter for Washington Post which is a renowned newspaper and now he is a correspondent for National Journal covering tech policy, so his article should be liable and authentic. According to this article, we can know major revelations and its release date: On June 5, Verizon gave its customers’ telephone calls within the U. S. To the NSA. On June 6: a secrete program know as PRISM which can collects foreign communications traffic from the nine giant tech companies including Microsoft, Google, Faceable, Youth, Keep, Yahoo and Apple.
On December 10, the NSA uses Google’s cookies to track preferences of consumers, to locate targets for hacking. On December, the NSA paid company RASA 10 million dollars to build a flawed encryption yester that can left a “back door”, the “back door” could let Ana’s intelligence analysts could access data on computers around the world (Vole). Up to this point, I had learned who Snowmen is and what happened to him and the NSA. But I had no idea which side I should stand on. Because I was have been told I should be an honest man from the time I was a kid, so I think Snowmen should tell the public the truth about what he know.
Snowmen is absolutely obeys the law if he unveils government misdeed in public, in this case, he should be exempt from punishment by the American government. But my concern is whether these leaked Information gives terrorists and other enemy countries advantage because they get to know how to avoid detection by the American government. In this case, Snowman’s actions harms the national security. However, NSA eavesdrop peoples phone calls and Internet can be Justifiable under certain circumstances. For example, the surveillance program can detect the terrorists, in consequence prevent people from terrorism attack.
In order to figure out who is wrong and who is right, I should do more research about what they did. Next, I attempt to find valuable information about American government’s intelligence gathering policies to scrutinize whether the policies are useful or dysfunctional that should be reformed. I found a book named “Spying In America in the Post 9/1 1 World: Domestic Threat and the Need for Change”. The author Ronald Marks is a former senior CIA official and his expertise lies in Cyber security and Homeland Security intelligence.
He is very familiar with U. S. Government policy in terms of intelligence. According to this book, NSA which is current American main Intelligence gathering agency was established in 1947 by president Truman in order o coordinate the “Nation’s intelligence activities and correlate, evaluate or monitor information globally for national security. However, all in intelligence gathering agencies should comply with American laws (Marks 66). Marks points out Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISH) requires a specific reason for wiretapping.
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act requires the wiretap can be used when the target is a foreign power, so the wiretap is the last resort when the information sought can not reasonably be obtained by other ways. (68) From this information, I an see the Ana’s surveillance program is illegal because American current laws only program domestically that is targeting everyone’s communications within United States. No doubt, NSA will deny all accusation against them. I found an article from The Hill, the title is “Clapper Denied NSA Surveillance Before Senate Panel in March Testimony’, the author is Carlo Munson.
According to Munson, in March 2013, When Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked by Senator Ron Widen ‘whether the NSA collected any type of data of hundreds of millions of Americans”, e said “no, not wittingly’ (par. 3-4). Interestingly, I find an article from the New York rimes, the title is “Tech Giants Issue Call for Limits on Government Surveillance of Users”, written by Edward Wyatt. Wyatt is a reporter at New York Times, he specialize in covering telecommunications and technology policy. So he very focus on Tech companies actions.
According to this article, eight US giant technology companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple etc. Urge president Obama and Congress to limit the power of intelligence agency (Wyatt). Wyatt points outs these companies’ action due to NSA heavily spy on their customers’ data that cause their reputation damaged (n. P. ). Their action can be seen as voice from technology companies in addition to Snowman’s revelation. They want security laws reformed worldwide to protect their user’ privacy in order to gain users trust.
From this article, I can understand why another Senator Rand Paul said Clapper lied in Congress, defiance the law, in the name of privacy. Luckily, I also found a scholarly article that deals with the connection between the Snowman’s revelation and Ana’s surveillance programs. The article is named “Making Sense from Snowmen: What’s Significant in the NSA Surveillance Revelations”. It is a credible source for this essay because the author is Susan Landau who has an extensive background and knowledge in internet and privacy issue as a senior privacy analyst at Google.
According to this article, Landau claims the documents Snowmen release shed light on numerous issues, for example, it gives the general public a chance to scrutinize whether intelligence agency have abused of their power as limiting government’s power is fundamental to the US political system. Secondly, it’s a good opportunity to reflect U. S current laws which is protect citizen’s privacy right and freedom of speech (Landau 5, 6). Landau argues if Snowman’s leak motivation was his concern NSA or other American intelligence agency have too much power to spy people.
She believes Snowmen should exempt from criminal punishment. After my hard working to do research, I have already known who is Snowmen and Nat is NSA. Snowman’s revelation informs the general public that NSA has implemented massive surveillance programs and their current surveillance policies have break the laws due to the American laws only allow intelligence agency spy reigned, foreign organization or criminal suspects, however, the NSA targeting all people within or outside America.
They randomly access people’s email, telephone contracts, and spy people’s telephone calls and Internet caches. On the other hand, Snowmen shouldn’t be viewed as traitor because his leak motivation was to inform ours, not for his own sake. As a former Ana’s contractor, he knew NSA have illegally access many people’s personal information and communications, he concern have the right to reveal government’s misdeeds to the public, this is the laws give us he right that we have freedom of speech.