A Current Event: The NSA

For those of you who haven’t heard about the 29 year old man who escaped the country to Thailand, then leaked out information about America’s NSA – basically, the organization who now receives more funds each year than the CIA to watch it’s own people and monitor their phone and internet usage. Basically, the government is ripping every shred of privacy that we had. Although the internet and our phone conversations had been speculated to have been monitored anyway, you can rest assured that your assumptions are entirely true! …Though that may not bring you comfort.

The NSA of the USA - that started 60 years ago. (photo by Wikipedia)

The NSA of the USA – that started 60 years ago. (photo by Wikipedia)

I know that youths believe they are unbreakable as teenagers and young adults. The fact is you’re not, and for whatever reason, we have to be careful about what we view and what we do via internet and phone. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the government is watching us. According to this article, it has been going on since 2001 and there is a database in Utah that is going to have a supercomputer to hold billions upon billions of information. Information that you may have been involved in.

There are several reasons as to why I am writing this post – as you may have been wondering, “What does this have to do with education?” Well, internet safety is something that we at distancelearning encourage – and although it is sad, it is a reality that we have to watch what we are doing even when doors are closed until these matters of privacy infringement are controlled – by some other force that doesn’t justify the invasion of privacy.

The undeniable truth is that privacy matters – no matter if you have or do not have something to hide. In fact, if you, the reader, were to sit down with me and if I were to ask you the deepest questions about your personal lives, you would immediately feel uncomfortable, and either lie to me or refuse to speak. It’s not that hard to predict, considering that is human nature. You would feel violated by the fact that I was asking you personal questions that I had no business asking you. So why is it that we are fine with the government monitoring us? It is the slow transformation from rights to tyranny.

As quoted from the Chronicle,

To what extent should government officials have such a significant power over citizens? This issue isn’t about what information people want to hide but about the power and the structure of government.

I remember once upon a time, I stumbled upon a book that (I didn’t know it at the time) was apparently on a government watch list. It was rumored that everyone who would rent this book from a library, or click a link to it on a computer was immediately tracked and put on a suspicious-persons list. I remember being so scared – because I was simply curious as to how cool the book sounded (for personal reasons, I am not going to name the book or link to where I found it) yet, I was supposedly being watched by the government.

My point is that it is scary to think that you are being watched. It is even scarier to hear affirmations that you are being watched. But I suppose the most scary thing about this whole fiasco is the fact that we don’t know what is happening with our information. We don’t know why we are being watched. Not only should we, as America’s youth and future leaders, take heed and watch what the government does now to better prepare ourselves for our future – but we should not just sit back without understanding what they are doing.

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