The Baker Orange

PRISM surveillance program is an invasion of privacy

Story by Taylor Shuck, Editor

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Thursday night, news sources dropped a bombshell on their viewers and America in general.

They released the details of PRISM, a covert collaboration between the FBI, National Security Agency and technology companies such as Facebook, Yahoo and Apple, which has allowed government access to their users’ personal information for at least six years.

Reports suggest that the NSA is receiving access by court ordered directives, which allow the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit access to these companies’ servers.

So in layman’s terms, the NSA can spy on its citizens and it’s totally legal.

The nation, for the most part, is split down the middle on reactions to PRISM.

On NSA’s side, it is trying to get into an information trove that could be used, at its best, to stop violence. The Internet lets people do a tremendous amount of damage without ever leaving their home and the NSA is aiming to stop that.

But the other side has a very simple stance – basic privacy.

“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” an unnamed intelligence officer told the Washington Post.

With PRISM it is evident that the government, as an entity, has no limits. While it is illegal for one citizen to open another’s piece of mail, the government has access to whatever it wants, whenever it wants. This blatant disregard to law is what has left citizens speechless. For the most part, all PRISM is doing is committing arson.

This astonishing news, which followed the scandal of Verizon Wireless’ unloading of records to the NSA a few days before, could have been prevented if the government was expected to follow all the same laws that citizens are forced to.

People should have a right to know that their government is working daily to protect their safety and privacy. Their safety can be ensured in less invasive ways and more successfully, though. Obviously there are some flaws in PRISM.

I can already see the explosion of semi-humorous but somewhat plausible illuminati jokes on the way.