by ANDREA FRENCH Section Editor
A 29-year old-contract I.T. worker for the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, leaked mass surveillance programs used in the United States.
Snowden leaked his information to the British newspaper The Guardian. The Guardian obtained court orders from the National Security Agency that demanded Verizon Business to submit their telephone records. These records included calls to and from people in the United States that crossed the Verizon Network. Because of this exposure, it was revealed that every major cell phone carrier has been turning over phone records for the past seven years.
People were outraged that the government was listening to their phone calls, so President Obama came out and made a statement that said that the NSA was not exactly listening to the actual conversations. However, the huge database full of phone calls would say otherwise.
In addition to the NSA court order, there is another program that was exposed called Boundless Informant. This program tracks and maps where the NSA’s Internet Intelligences come from on a country-to-country basis.
“I am honestly scared for what the government is watching. I do not really feel comfortable putting my personal thoughts in writing over the internet or in texts because I do not know which things I do are going to be watched,” says sophomore Casey Schieda.
The most talked about NSA program that was exposed is known as PRISM. PRISM was set up to collect digital information about foreign targets. It also allows the NSA to collect e-mails, chat records, photos, videos, file transfers, and more on the internet.
At this point, the whole concept of PRISM is questionable. Only certain slides of a PowerPoint that described what PRISM is were leaked. These slides revealed that nine of the leading tech companies in the world were using this program, but it is still unclear as to who the presentation was for.
Since the exposure of the PRISM, people as important as Mark Zuckerburg are becoming enraged by it. The exact reason for why the government wants to collect this data in the first place in unknown, but that is what everyone is trying to figure out.
People are claiming that it is all for the protection of the country from terrorist attacks, and threats alike. The NSA has claimed that the programs have already thwarted many terrorist attacks.
“I think that the programs that the NSA have are a good thing for the country. I do not understand what people are worried that the government would see. Regardless of who is watching, you should not be posting inappropriate things on the internet. In my opinion, the government would never watch you and invade its citizens’ privacy in order to hurt the country,” says an anonymous source.
The Director of National Intelligences responded to all of the commotion about PRISM by saying that all data acquired by the program is targeted at people outside of the US who are possible threats to our safety.
Maybe people will now be a little more careful what they post on the internet because now someone is definitely watching.