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NSA raises paranoia

Posted on 10.09.2013

A recent uproar has resulted in a growing fear of Big Brother watching.   The National Security Agency has been under fire from the general public and in the headlines more than ever—and for no apparent reason. The hike in press coverage has been nothing more than a stirring of unclear water.
The NSA website states that it “will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behavior.”
The organization’s employees have not abided by this, coming under scrutiny in the past month for abusing their power. Twelve instances of employees spying on their spouses, significant others and exes have been cited. But does that really warrant the fear of Big Brother watching your every move on your phone, computer and other devices? Hardly.
Potential iPhone 5 consumers have recently worried about the new fingerprint technology on their phones. Skeptics fear that the NSA will have access to their fingerprints and data when using the feature. In reality, neither Apple nor the NSA will keep a “fingerprint database,” and you don’t have to register your fingerprints if you don’t want.
Besides that, the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System has more than 70 million subjects in the criminal prints masterfile and 34 million civilian prints all acquired without the help of Apple.
Another new product coming under fire is the “Xbox One Kinect.”
Skeptical consumers worry that the gaming console’s eye will be able to watch their every move. Again, this is an outlandish worry. If the NSA truly wanted to use this technology, they would need a full-blown search warrant, just as if they were physically coming into your home. The Fourth Amendment should put critics’ minds at ease.
“If they really wanted to, they could take all of that information off of our phones and laptops. But I don’t feel like  [The NSA staff members] have any reason,” said junior Indiana University student Sam Cooper.
And that’s hard to argue; there are more than 300 million Americans and the government doesn’t care about our “selfies,”  let alone people sitting on their mother’s couch playing video games.
The biggest issue concerning the NSA today is its secrecy. Officials, including former president Bill Clinton, have called for more transparency. Clinton calls for more transparency with “the procedures, not the details,” of the NSA’s actions. If citizens knew more about the NSA’s operations, there is a good chance they all would have much more confidence in the effectiveness of those operations.
The recent buzz over NSA actions has been a whirlwind of talking heads blowing up a story where there is not one. The uproar was not nearly as great in 2006, when the organization was secretly collecting data from the phone calls of millions of Americans. At the end of the day, the NSA is not out to get any of us. They’ve got bigger fish to fry.


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