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NSA Leaks: How Much of Our Privacy Should Be Sacrificed for Our Safety?

Over the past few weeks a national debate has raged concerning the National Security Agency’s leaks and Edward Snowden. Should the federal government be able to access our phone and internet records? Is this a necessary evil to protect our nation’s safety? Is Snowden a hero or a traitor? What else is the government hiding?

There’s a fine line between protecting us from terrorism and invading our privacy. I understand there are threats to national security and the government cannot tell us everything, but is it necessary that our phone calls be under surveillance. Is there no other way? And if there is no other way, where does it stop? If the government is allowed to monitor our phone calls and internet usage could it then track our movements? The government claims that Americans are not being monitored, but can we really believe that?

I also have mixed feelings about Snowden. On one hand, our first Amendment right should protect the publication of the leaks from persecution. Without our right to free speech the government would be able to become oppressive. On the other hand, can we really trust Snowden? In addition to the information he’s already leaked, he had access to other sensitive information and is now hiding in China.