Privacy or Security?


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The NSA building in Bluffdale, Utah

Just this last year Adobe constructed a huge new office building worth over $74 million that raised many peoples’ eyebrows, yet right across the valley the NSA is building an absolutely gigantic compound worth over 20 times that much and nobody seems to be talking about it.

Last summer, Edward Snowden released documents to the media while under contract and working for the NSA. The public outrage that ensued was enormous, but after the initial waves of dissent were calmed, one could take a step back and actually look at the situation. Neither party was really pointing fingers at one another, in fact we had both Republicans and Democrats at the federal level encouraging the public to calm down, that this whole NSA thing wasn’t really a big deal. And in truth, it wasn’t. Anybody who understood the Patriot Act that was passed soon after 9-11 could have inferred that the federal government was doing this kind of thing, without actually knowing it.

The extent of the NSA’s monitoring, however, was something that somebody could not anticipate. But for all the documents that have arisen because of Snowden, none of it showed us that the NSA has actually abused its power. This power granted by Congress has not once been wrongfully used in all the accounts uncovered by Snowden.

The real problem relies in other documents that Snowden released. He released top-secret documents about American agents abroad that puts their lives at risk. This is acutally the worst thing any American citizen could do. Out of a misplaced sense of self-righteousness he actually put his own countrymen at risk, for what? So people could know that their country was using the power that its elected officials granted it correctly, if perhaps overbearingly. It could not matter less if Edward Snowden was never allowed back into this country.

The most ironic part of it all is that Snowden, the self-righteous contract-breaker, who screams foul on all of America’s liberties, currently resides in Russia, the world’s beacon for all human rights. He isn’t the only hypocrite in the whole ordeal though. Ever since Snowden released the evidence of America’s spying on other countries and its citizens many governments have gone as far to threaten to cease alliances with us. Any country that America spies on, spies on us. But other countries now have hard evidence of America’s spying, and act like it is a big deal and they do not participate in such underhanded tactics.

What people need to realize is that the world we live is not very nice. People want to hurt Americans, for no other reason than they are American. And whose responsibility is it that the American people are kept safe? None other than the American

government. Some amount of privacy is given up, but it is a sacrifice that we must be willing to make.