National Security Agency Surveillance

1896 Words8 Pages
In January of 2014, news agencies reported on the National Security Agency's (NSA) use of “leaky” mobile phone applications to obtain private user information. The United States government has admitted to spying on its citizens, but claims that doing so is the best way to protect the U.S. from foreign threats. Certain smartphone applications, such as the popular Angry Birds game, inadvertently transmit personal user information, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status and current location, collectively known as the user's metadata, across the internet[1]. As part of their world-wide telecommunications surveillance for terrorism or other criminal activity, the NSA exploits these security holes in smartphone applications, by collecting and storing user data. While many users are unaware of the information leaks in their mobile applications, most people would certainly prefer to keep such information private [2]. Smartphones know almost everything about who we are, what we do, and where we go, but how much of that information does the government have the right to know and possess? Is it ethical for the United States government to collect and track the cell phone data of its citizens in the name of national defense, or does that violate the citizens' right to personal privacy? NSA surveillance of private user data of U.S. citizens is the best method of protection against terrorism and is also legal under the Constitution. By examining these two components, it is plain to
Get Access