California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    NSA actions degrade US credibility

    Imagine if every time you buy a new phone, the company squeezes in the fact that there is sophisticated government communication surveillance equipment in that phone. This may lead you to hesitating to sign that two-year contract.

    According to the National Security Agency’s website, the agency is centered on gaining advantages for the U.S. and our allies under all circumstances.

    This includes encrypting technology and data mining all domestic communication, as well. The authority and function of the NSA is worth being questioned.

    As time has gone on, the press is unveiling more information about the NSA’s spying tactics. They still claim their main purpose for their surveillance methods is to gather intelligence for national security purposes.

    It began when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released classified documents, revealing the agency spying on millions of unaware citizens throughout the United States. Now, the information released has only caused the issue to escalate.

    NSA spying on the chancellor of Germany, spying on the pope and the conclave who elected him, spying on the secretary of the United Nations and hacking into the computer servers at Google and Yahoo may have been the turning points for some citizens.

    “I would think that from the Tea Party all the way across to the left wing, or left end of the spectrum, that people would be outraged,” Herbert Gooch, who has a doctorate degree in political science, said.

    The media has also been blasting the NSA’s actions. Rather than being completely outraged, there is a portion of Americans who don’t have strong emotions about the subject. Reasoning for this may be based on the fact that there is not an immediate impact on U.S. citizens.

    “I don’t think it’s all bad, but again, it definitely doesn’t resonate with the public,” said senior Luke Gheta.

    The NSA’s reasoning does not justify the level of privacy intrusion that has taken place on millions of U.S. citizens.

    According to the Washington Post, NSA’s equipment accesses at least 1.7 billion emails a day. Meanwhile, the NSA’s data mine analyzes the information for suspicious key words, patterns and connections.

    Is there an option that says, please let me keep my individual rights?

    Senior Mike Frieda discussed how this topic may blow over with time since there has not been a huge reaction to it; however, he warned the public on what can now take place in the future.

    “I would caution the American people and the public to recognize that the series of gradual changes that will follow this is, perhaps, just the pre-slope that will lead to a higher extent of surveillance state,” Frieda said.

    Not only has this damaged the image of the United States, but Obama himself, especially after receiving his Nobel Peace Prize without performing any action, except the expansion of NSA spying.

    The Obama administration’s response, or lack thereof, is turning into another reason on whether to doubt the NSA’s intentions. It’s obvious the man in the Oval Office knows what’s going on because according to Fox News, these services are being provided to its clients, including the president.

    “Collecting meta data that provides access to every single telephone number that you’ve ever called and every email that almost all U.S. citizens, almost all US residents, have ever sent is so massive. It most certainly damages our credibility,” said Sharon Docter,  who has a doctorate degree in communication theory and research.

    After all, this country was founded on the basis of being anti-government. While this subject may not have an immediate impact on U.S. citizens, this matter is still a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    This hefty surveillance is no longer just a matter of whether someone is a terrorist. Now, the government has enough information on citizens to hold something against them. This frightening tactic can be mistakenly overlooked, and then what will citizens have to support them when the government is holding your personal telecommunication records against you in court?

    Unless there is more of a reaction coming from the U.S. citizens, prepare to welcome the government into our personal lives.


    Savannah Robinson
    Staff Writer
    Published Nov. 13, 2013