Should U.S. government reform its surveillance policy?
I was not interested in the privacy issue until former NSA contractor Edward Snowden publicly disclosed a large number of classified documents which are about U.S. government implemented massive surveillance program toward American citizens and foreign countries. This incident was viewed as the most significant leak in America history and of course it has caused sensation worldwide. However, privacy issue doesn’t easily raise general public’s attention due to it seems like don’t bring substantial bad consequence or effect our lives a lot. After Snowden escaped to Russia, he was called traitor whistleblower, dissident, and even a hero by different people. Consequently, there has been a fierce debate about whether he should be punished by law or be protected as hero of whistleblower. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming concern their privacy would be invaded. Many people are skeptical that American government’s massive surveillance programs are illegal and should be stopped to protect citizens’ privacy right. However, on the other hand, others may think current surveillance programs are necessary because it can improve national security which is prevent people from terrorism attack, and at the same time can help country to gain favorable position under fierce international competition. These debate help me come up with a question: Should U.S. government reform its surveillance policy? In order to answer my question, I have decided that I need to truly investigate the American government’s surveillance programs and the impact on us.
To begin with, because I was curious about who Snowden is and what the NSA organization does. I started to search for more information about them. I found a couple of articles that were useful for me. The first one is on The New York Times’s website and was written by Paul Krugman this year. This article which is named “Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower” gives me some basic information about Snowden. According to Krugman, Edward Snowden who is former contractor of NSA disclosed lots of classified documents to media since June 21, 1983. These documents revealed NSA has eavesdropped hundreds of millions of people globally, collect information from people’s phone calls, emails and text mes...