Why NSA Snooping is Necessary

Nobody likes their privacy invaded. I don’t like Google tailoring advertisements by what I write in Gmail or information about what I buy used to otherwise treat me differently than I want to be treated. Private industry shouldn’t be using my personal information for their ends. But the NSA snooping through electronic communications is necessary for protecting the United States and its citizens, and that also includes spying on our allies and their leadership.Our communication and electronic infrastructure doesn’t stop at borders. Terrorists and enemy states pass information through it that includes information on how to hurt the United States and its citizens.¬† The United States has a spy network. So does every other world power, and they have spies within the United States. The United States is incapable of keeping illegal immigrants from crossing its borders – how hard can it be for a spy to enter, legally or illegally? The ability of the US government to proactively protect us is based on their ability to know when and how an action is going to take place, before it takes place. They can do that by sifting through communication and electronic infrastructure – it literally is a fishing expedition, scanning for behaviors, combinations of text and words in communications and the like that help the government qualify someone for extra attention. I understand the argument against fishing expeditions, and the anxiety against the government finding new ways to control or incarcerate its citizens. However there simply isn’t an alternative. Using means to scan and detect behaviors and communications that threaten the welfare of the United States¬† is necessary in order to prevent future tragedies like 911. And in order to do this effectively, information on how it is being done has to remain secret, or the enemies of the United States will be able to avoid it. Also, expediency requires that judicial oversight of any kind is extremely swift. Getting a judicial order for every action is just not going to be feasible – it would require thousands of judges that, in turn, create more holes in the secrecy framework.

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