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Does the Law go to Far: A Critique of the NSA's Monitoring of Phone-Calls and E-mails

surveillance, law, NSA, government, unfairness, rights, justice, monitoring

There are many concerns from the generalized public about specific issues on certain laws, especially ones where an individual can be monitored by surveillance. In order to have the legal right to watch someone’s coming and goings like this, and even go so far as to hack into their phone calls and emails, there should be unquestionable proof that they are part of a plot to promote terrorism in this country, or some other very serious illegal activity. The idea should not be that the government can pick and choose as they see fit, because what if they are wrong? That would undoubtedly be going against the constitution and undeniably be an invasion of the individuals rights.

So, the question is, is the law, in a situation like this really fair to the people of the country? Are they going about it the right way or are they just picking and choosing who they deem could possibly be aiding and abetting terrorists?

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales detailed how this program works but at the same time he left many questions unanswered and some people in shock over how they should weigh the situation. It would seem that the steps that are being taken now to carry out this program don’t seem to add up. After all, every citizen has unalienable rights, that is what this country was built on, and if there is going to be an invasion of those rights by a simple questioning look, then something is definitely wrong and needs fixed.

Also the question of the legal ramifications, as well as the ethical dilemmas this program invokes has become quite a debate. It is understood that the risk of terrorism is high and great but also the point remains that a governmental body can not simply say, “Oh, they look suspicious.” Or, “They had a conversation with someone in the Middle East so we will tap their phone and computer.” That idea is simply preposterous and definitely can’t be considered legal. Yet, at this point and time it would seem this is how the program actually is working. There is no fairness in this, only an unbalanced and unethical equation. The Attorney General himself has not denied the fact that there might be eavesdropping on purely domestic conversations, not even validated by a warrant. Yet they make no effort to try and make amends for these types of behaviors, knowing full well they are improper and illegal.

At the same time negativity is found in this law, it still can have some positive benefits as well. For one, terrorism can be picked up and located quicker than ever before by simply tapping into a phone or computer. The monitoring goes smoother and with less stress on either party involved. The case often times is the person being surveillanced, never has a clue that they are being watched, which is what this law is meant for. Disguised monitoring without interference, to hopefully curtail terrorism is the main goal and ambiguity of this laws cause. Sometimes it leads to clues on the who and what of it all is, and sometimes it is just petty and the intrusion into the suspected individuals life should not have been carried out at all.

It seems our government is simply getting too big for its britches. What gives them the right to step on ordinary citizens toes just because they think they can? Nevertheless, at the same time this question is asked, a person has to stop and think of the possibilities of what could occur in this country if instances of monitoring certain peoples lives wasn’t carried out and duly followed. There have been quite a few leads on terrorism picked up and documented in this program. The plus’s can not be denied, and they have to be looked at as benefits, not as negatives all the time.

It is known that terrorists often communicate in code and when it is properly broken down, the intelligence that is gained is more valuable and worthy than tapping into the content of the main conversation or data in the computer itself. This particular program is able to gleam a better interpretation of a suspected terrorists activities and patterns in their life, allowing them to pinpoint what they might be up too and who they might even be affiliated with. This is an area that must be weighed up against the rights of individuals in the country.

Obviously the government isn’t going to start picking people randomly from the local grocery store, or could they? One might never know but as has been said, there can be no denying that terrorism has to be quelled somehow. That is why the government is willing to take moral and ethical stances that are on the edge in order to see this through.
In conclusion, though this program might not be liked by all and is up for debate, the fact can’t be denied that it offers opportunities to key in on issues that otherwise might go undetectable. The mere pattern of a telephone transaction can help analysts pick up on behaviors of an individual that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. The point is, stopping terrorism is difficult and at some point the question of, “Is this the right thing to do?“, has to, at times, be laid to the curb to allow for the best possible outcome of safety for this country and every individual person in it.



Works Cited
Harris, Shane (2006). The NSA’s Warrantless Monitoring of Phone-Calls and Emails. National Journal. Washington, Volume38, Issue 11, pg.28

Website
Published: 2006-04-10
Author: Misty Keith

About the author or the publisher
Misty Keith is a wife and mother of three. She has been published in many venues on the web, as well as one print publication. Currently she works for clients, assisting them with academic papers of all genres. She can write in non-fiction, fiction, horror, romance, inspirational, motivational; basically all creative styles are a familiarity for her. Creativity and Inspirational are her favorite styles.



Misty Keith
statesidewife33@aol.com

www.writesight.com/writers/Statesidewife33/index.php#bio

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