NSA Reform Bills: Is it Sufficient ?

Throughout time courts have ruled against any form of intrusion into American citizen’s private lives . These federal laws , for instance the FISA law , seek to discourage fishing undertakings, aimless assumptions and unconditional approaches to collect information among the society. As a matter of fact, it can be illegally retrieved evidence set off by warrantless searches and investigations are presumed unacceptable in courts. This is because the law prevents the State to gain from its infringement. Certainly, an infraction of such rights of a single person is already one too many.


In the PBS special Spying on the Home Front, it exposes just how much the government has no time for legally identified processes of investigation and surveillance to allow uncommon entrance to personal communication encompassed by innocent American citizens. The National Security Agency (NSA) has been explicitly constructed to deflect alarming communication with the ambition of catching the terrorists, even before the agency plans to take definite actions. Therefore, the agency at first was subsequent to the principle that investigations need to prevent private correspondences. Be that as it may, in the last few decades and more so after the 9 /11 terror attacks, the NSA, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used their skills and devices to spy on the American people.


The only thing that can be said about laws that give the government so much power and the citizens so little is that the Patriot Act gave the government permission to set up the framework of a police state. The Patriot Act, established a little over a month after 9/11, reduces civil liberties that were protected by the Constitution. The NSA can even access call records in the cell phone company Verizon, it was made so that the customers didn’t even know that they were even being spied on. Except that Verizon is not the only the information has been put into what is called “metadata”, making so that there is no need for a warrant. It also gains access through internet sites such as Google, Apple, and Facebook through an Internet-search program known as PRISM; without gaining permission not only through the people but also the companies. John Earnest a deputy of the press security states that “Collecting millions of phone records of ordinary citizens allows law enforcement to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other possible terrorists.”


In the summer of 2013, the spying agency claimed they foiled a little over fifty terrorist plots. But how much of that was due to looking through citizen call and internet records? A new analysis of terrorism charges in the US found that the NSA’s dragnet domestic surveillance “had no discernible impact” on preventing terrorist acts. Instead, the majority of threats over the last decade were detected by regular old intelligence and law enforcement methods—tips, informants, CIA and FBI ops, routine law enforcement.


I do understand that the point of the program is to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks but by invading the American people’s personal records and not informing us of such actions? That does not seem beneficial to any innocent citizens.



15 thoughts on “NSA Reform Bills: Is it Sufficient ?

  1. Great blog post! I agree that if the types of surveillance they are using by spying on American citizens can’t be proven beneficial to our society, like the point you brought up about how many terrorist attacks had been stopped because of spying on citizens, than it shouldn’t be happening or it needs to be improved. I understand that it could help, but breaking people’s trust and privacy shouldn’t be for nothing.

  2. Good job with this, it’s very well written! I really agree with your last point especially. They say they’re doing these things to protect us, but there’s a very fine line between acceptable monitoring and non-acceptable monitoring; a line which they seem to cross too often. They’re getting too involved in our personal privacy.

  3. Thanks for the excellent post. I think that we could create a reduction in privacy infringement and not see an increase in acts of terror. With the NSA leak, terrorists have changed and adapted their ways of communicating. They aren’t using the same methods as the normal American. If they are, they are likely using it in a way which is different enough to detect with algorithms and patterns, which then should warrant further investigation. Furthermore, instating requirements for a warrant in certain cases would restore a very important check/balance piece that is currently missing. Are current reform efforts enough? No, because we have lost what we fight to protect.

  4. I do think the most important thing should always be the safety of citizens, but it does seem that our privacy is being compromised while not many people are being caught. I agree with what Joe said in that terrorists are not using the same methods they used to. They are not going to email or call back and forth, as they know whatever information they are passing back and forth is being recorded and listened to. Great blog post, it was really interesting to read!

  5. I agree that the safety of citizens should be the number one priority. Although, if our privacy is being invaded and we aren’t being protected, something needs to change. Like others have said, terrorists are adapting to new ways of communicating and we need to continue to reform our surveillance system if we want to be effective in preventing terrorist attacks and maintaining the safety of the citizens. If privacy is going to be invaded there needs to be a good reason to back it up.

  6. I found this blog post really interesting! I agree with what has already been said, that safety should be the main priority, but that the privacy of individuals should be respected. I like the point that you made about how most of the terrorist threats were detected by using older methods. It seems like the NSA is misusing its power and resources by spying on all civilians because they aren’t always catching the terrorists.

  7. I agree that the main priority should be the safety of the people and trying to protect it. I also think that the more technology we get the harder it is going to be to protect are privacy. The government will have to make better encryption security system with the more technology advances so i think that the line they cross to get are information will be crossed more often then it should.

  8. Everbody always says that these don’t work because there hasn’t been some shocking news story about these technologies don’t work, but who says they would tell us? Wouldn’t a news story about how this new form of catching terrorrists worked just tip off other terrorrists about the strategy and help them find a way to avoid it? Even if it was a vague article stating that it does indeed work, would we believe it without proof? The government doesn’t tell us a lot of things, but maybe not all of their secrets are bad.

  9. Great post! I agree with what you are saying. There is a fine line between what is acceptable ad what is not acceptable in surveillance. Safety for citizens should be number one but should not cross the line of the not acceptable surveillance. Again great post!

  10. At this point, I view the NSA as a symbol of how inefficient our bureaucracies can be. In all honesty, how does collecting vast amounts of data really help? The policies that empower the NSA were kneejerk reactions to 9/11. I can envision some top secret room somewhere in which a small committee is throwing ideas at their supervisor on how to combat a threat they couldn’t fully comprehend. Then some of those ideas went all the way up to Congress and BAM, we have the Patriot act. Now these laws that empower the NSA to combat a threat are breaking down the trust people have with their government.

  11. I agree that the NSA has a principle goal to protect US citizens. But how can we know if they are successful or not? If the NSA didn’t exist, how many more terrorist attacks would there be, or how many more threats in the nation would there be. It is hard to say if the NSA does more harm than good, but I believe that unless the people pose a direct threat to society, the safety of society that is, that the US people should not be surveyed.

  12. I think that our safety is definitely a priority, but the way that the government is going about it is too invasive. It interrupts too much of our personal privacy. I think that terrorists are definitely not going to use the same methods now that they know that we know. They will find more creative and harder ways to catch and find them. I don’t think that the NSA should spy on all civilians, though, just because not everyone is terrorist.

  13. Great Post! And yes I agree with the point you’ve brought across. The government has more than once overstepped our boundaries as American citizens invading our privacy and records supposedly for the need to prevent terrorist attacks, but since this program took place I personally and seems like others do as well agree that there has not been any type of benefit. I understand that the NSA is trying to protect it’s citizens but the war they’re going about is should thought-out more thoroughly . But surveillance on every citizen is highly unnecessary and like Alex Dobesh said “terrorists are definitely not going to use the same methods now that they know that we know. They will find more creative and harder ways to catch and find them.”

  14. I feel that is acceptable for the NSA to use the information gained through data collectors like the company Verizon to find possible terrorist. It makes sense for citizens not to feel completely comfortable that government is using the Patriot Act to access “metadata.” But terrorism has significantly became a huge issue in the past years especially since 9/11. I think citizens should be able to give up a little privacy of their own for a good cause. I hate it has come to this kind of stalker-type surveillance, but terrorism is REAL and they are only getting smarter by using technology to help complete their missions.

  15. Somewhat Less Secret Spy Guy

    Bottom line, if rights are violated, the programs must get results. They have not proven this is the case, so some serious reform is necessary. If I am giving up my liberties, ii should for a a good reason.

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