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  • Writer's picturesuryasrikumar2

NSA Surveillance

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

The NSA surveils many of the United States citizens. This is because they need to survey data to stop many of these supposed terror attacks. Historically, we have seen that some of the NSA surveillance has helped stop terror attacks, but at what cost? Early on in the 20th century, the American Public had no idea that the NSA was surveilling them but after a messy situation with Edward Snowden, many government database secrets such as the one with the NSA were leaked. On both sides of the story there are many different perspectives but the question boils down too, was the NSA surveillance good. For the side supporting the NSA surveillance, we have 2 key reasons. The first being pandemic prevention. During the first wave of the Sars Pandemic, it was reported that the NSA had the information about the outbreak but the sole reason that they did not make any moves to stopping the pandemic was because politicians thought that it would not be a big issue. After the COVID pandemic it is fairly obvious that the majority of the people and the government are aware about the damage of a pandemic and thus action will be taken. This is also really important as studies show that due to the conditions of farms in Texas, it is the prime place for the next outbreak of a pandemic and the NSA is needed to track it through thermal tracing. The second reason why NSA is needed in order to halt terrorism. The main purpose of the NSA is to track terrorism. Overall, the NSA calculates the chances of domestic terror attacks and foreign attacks off of intelligence. Ending surveillance stops both of these. A common counterpoint to this was that there have been 2 major terrorist attacks in NSA surveillance but that does not account for the fact that those attempts are one of many so the probability of terrorist attacks are still very low. The reasons against it are due to a increase in cyberattacks and the same argument about terrorism I have mentioned. On the point about cybersecurity, the NSA finds issues in the code of many companies but instead of disclosing them to the companies they decide to keep them hidden so they can use it to collect data on the companies and the American people. This has resulted in a massive increase in cyberattacks in the US. Overall, my opinion on this topic is that the NSA needs to have surveillance as otherwise we would see terrorist attacks go up and we don't have the opportunity to stop a future pandemic. Just the fact that we can stop and identify terrorist attacks deters attacks from happening in the first place.

Maçães, Bruno. “Only Surveillance Can Save Us From Coronavirus.” Foreign Policy, 10 Apr. 2020,

McCarthy, Kieren. “NSA to Congress: Our Spy Programs Don't Work, Aren't Used, or Have Gone Wrong – Now Can You Permanently Reauthorize Them?” The Register® - Biting the Hand That Feeds IT, The Register, 7 Nov. 2019,

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