Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Is NSA Surveillance Stopping Terrorist Events? Or Causing More Harm than Good?

In an article called Thanks to NSA Surveillance, Americans are More Worried about Civil Liberties than Terrorism Jacob Sullum points out that in a pew research poll more citizens are concerned about civil liberties than ever before. An increasing number of citizens believe that the government's counterterrorism policies "have gone too far in restricting civil liberties". 

The fact that NSA surveillance has violated our privacy, has ignored and infringed on our constitutional rights is a sign of government intrusion and overreaching power gone wild. The NSA surveillance's power hungry trip invading peoples privacy on so many levels is so horribly wrong. 

On the upside it is a good thing that more people are waking up to the ever increasing assaults on our civil liberties. Although it is a mixed bag since the results in the pew survey also show an increase in support for "the government’s collection of telephone and internet data as part of anti-terrorism efforts".  How is it possible for citizens to be concerned about civil liberties but more people also approve of the NSA surveillance program? That doesn't make sense to me.  We obviously have some work to do to help the citizenry understand the relationship between the NSA surveillance program and the infringement of our civil liberties.  The NSA surveillance program is one huge piece of the pie intruding on our civil liberties.  

According to the article it is apparent that the NSA has greatly exaggerated its effectiveness in preventing terrorist attacks. Apparently most if not all the terrorist attacks could have been prevented using different means or the program only played a small part in averting terrorist attacks. 

"I have not seen any indication that the bulk phone records program yielded any unique intelligence that was not also available to the government through less intrusive means," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore)
 So our civil liberties have been violated in the name of safety for a useless deficient program?  I am reminded of an often misquoted Ben Franklin quote:  "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety."  There is a popular misquote that adds an idea that 'ol Ben may have missed, and I think there is even more wisdom in the misquote than in the founding father's original words, for we have gained no additional safety with this devil's bargain:  "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." (bold emphasis mine).


1 comment:

Leticia said...

It's doing more harm than good, in my opinion, since they are targeting the wrong people.