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article imageOp-Ed: Enough debate — Is NSA spying constitutional or not?

By Cameron Christner     Dec 8, 2013 in Politics
Anyone who has followed the Snowden revelations or has even the most basic knowledge of the Constitution will find the answer to this question a resounding no.
It’s disgusting to see these so-called leaders reading off pre-prepared statements saying they did nothing wrong and all their actions were completely lawful and necessary. It’s almost like they have never read the Constitution. Remember that Fourth Amendment? It goes like this, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” Well, sorry to break it to ya, but metadata is a type of property, and if you want it, you need a warrant. In other words, the seizure of information must be warranted. That means no mass collection. Sorry.
Still, government officials refuse to acknowledge this blatant violation of our right to privacy, using metadata graphs and social mapping to get around their own laws. These graphs effectively create profiles using Internet data such as dates and times of phone calls, who is being called, and where the caller and the recipient are at that time. This type of profiling, in some cases, reveals more about a person than actually listening in to their phone calls would.
The “National Spying Agency” is also paying companies such as AT&T and Verizon millions of dollars to turn over their user’s data. And yet, these same companies have the audacity to say they abide by the law, which is, of course, completely false. It would be idiotic to think that these company owners, who employ some of the smartest people in the world and are definitely not idiots themselves, did not know or at least suspect that the government was spying on their customers. After all, if their actions were truly lawful, they wouldn’t need to be bribed.
Now, the main argument by the supporters of mass spying say that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But how can a free society function without privacy? As the President of Brazil, Ms. Dilma Roussef said, “if there is no right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy.” In effect, privacy is the building block of freedom, allowing anyone to express their thoughts to whomever they want without fear of repercussions.
I challenge anyone who disagrees to look through their search history, and I can guarantee that in five minutes or less they will find something incriminating or embarrassing that, if gotten out, could potentially ruin their life or at least their credibility as a person. Someone’s search history alone reveals more about him or her than any family member or close friend could ever hope to know.
Further, this exaggerated threat of terrorism is nothing but an illusion, created to justify the use of spying, most of which is in fact used to gather information on other countries and their politicians. In the end, if we allow terrorists to scare us into trading liberty for security, then they have already won.
This idea that the U.S. is the freest nation in the world is now more than ever proving completely false. Not only has the government violated its own constitution, but they have violated the privacy of billions of people throughout the world, despite their unwavering support of human rights that is now proving to be nothing but a mask, disguising a monster with more potential for destruction than Hitler or the Nazi party could ever hope to achieve.
Privacy is not negotiable. What I am sending and who I am sending it to is not the government’s business unless they have evidence that I am doing something illegal. The debate is over. The government’s lies have been exposed and the people have found that they do not like what it is doing. We’ve talked long enough. Now we need action.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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