NSA Collects More Data Than Previously Thought

The system which monitors web traffic for the NSA has been revealed to use a bigger net than previously thought. Algorithms in the system allowed certain data to be retained by the NSA, but the definition of “reasonable” data retention changed after September 11, 2001. It was broadened to allow so much data to be retained by the NSA that 75% of internet traffic could now be visible to the NSA. According to Fox News:

The NSA programs described by the Journal differ from the programs described by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in a series of leaks earlier this summer. Snowden described a program to acquire Americans’ phone records, as well as another program, known as PRISM, that made requests from Internet companies for stored data. By contrast, the Internet monitoring systems have the capability to track almost any online activity, so long as it is covered by a broad court order.

In addition the NSA has broken privacy rules thousands of time to spy on citizens without approval. But how could this be stopped under a secret program with no real oversight? It is disturbing that members of congress have come out in support of the system, after it was discovered that the NSA does not even follow the lenient rules for collecting data. Recently likely Presidential candidate Governor Chris Christie came out in support of the NSA domestic spying program, claiming it would save lives and prevent another 9/11, despite recent terrorist attacks having not been thwarted by the system. Christie also mocked Senator Rand Paul for believing the NSA surveillance went to far and violates Americans’ rights.

This retention of data without individual warrants is a violation of the Fourth Amendment which protects our right against unreasonable search and seizure of our home, papers, persons, or effects. By including the term “papers” in the Constitution, our Founding Fathers surely meant that all written communications and documents were to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. The fact that these are stored on computers and not in filing cabinets does not change the protections enumerated under the Fourth Amendment.

7 thoughts on “NSA Collects More Data Than Previously Thought

  1. What happened to Christie? So disappointed in him. Keep up the good work! Congratulations on the birth of Max!

  2. It was originally believed to be 100%, so the headline is misleading, but your point is 100% right.

    Also you should note google uses more information they gather than the NSA does. If you don’t want intrusion on the internet from an outside source, google is more intrusive than the NSA

    • That is a good point about google, however since you must use google for that to happen, you are essentially consenting. We don’t have the option of whether or not to be tracked by the NSA.

      And I had originally read it was only data going out or in to the USA that was tracked, thus the “more data than previously thought” headline. It is also a different sort of data than the PRISM program which tracked communications.

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