The US government should be allowed to continue tracking and reading the emails, Facebook posts and websites of its citizens in order to protect them against terrorism. National security remains a critical issue in the United States. Citing the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 and recent developments in the Middle East over nuclear weapons, the US government should be at the forefront in protecting the lives of its people. The surveillance program involves the National Security Administration (NSA) along with FBI and CIA tracking phone records of its citizens and sifting through Google, Websites, and Facebook to detect terrorism plans before their occurrence. Life remains a fundamental human right that any threat to this right must receive full government intervention, even if it means reading and tracking internet search queries, Facebook posts, and emails (Murray par. 2).
For businesses using internet in running their operations, the move can result in low clients’ confidence with their data, thus reducing profitability. The government has to come-forth and assure the public of the intention of the surveillance as well as promise the citizens on the safety of their online data. It is worth noting that even for such businesses, terrorism can create destructive impacts on their operations, and they should even support the government in this surveillance program in order to secure their businesses and operating environment (Murray par. 9). The same citizens also require the government to give them adequate protection in their daily activities. With developments in technology, the government also has to upgrade their tracking system to online data.
The government should only access citizens’ data only for threat mitigation purposes like preventing acts of terrorism. Instances of leaking information from different sources should not occur. For instance, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) must always review the legality and lawfulness of all initiatives by the investigating bodies so that in case of information leakage, the court can hold them accountable for the act. The intelligence agencies start the spying process by filing a warrant with FISC. In this process, phone companies do not provide names of phone owners, but provide only the information on data calls, such as information content, duration of calls, and location of the recipient/caller (Kopp par. 6). In this situation, the government will not be in a position to know the identity of its citizens. However, in case of communications that can cause threat to the nation security system, further revelations are necessary in order to thwart the incident.
This surveillance program requires high level of integrity and confidentiality in keeping sensitive information of companies and organizations in the US. US government has introduced some guidelines that help to protect privacy of people’s details (Suarez par. 10). Security issues remain significant in all the aforementioned negative instances of information accessibility by government agencies. Therefore, if the government intends to gain access to citizens’ online data in order to help in eradicating terrorism, then other agencies should allow the initiative to continue.
Kopp, Carol. The Government Is Spying On Americans’ Digital and Old-Fashioned Communications. Washington Blog. N.p., 2013. Web.
Murray, Alan. Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press RSS. N.p., 2013.
Suarez, Ray. Government Surveillance of Citizens Raises Civil Liberty Concerns. Public Broadcasting Service. N.p., 2013.