Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Do NSA tactics bug you?

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Greg Peck
January 21, 2014

It was interesting to read the item in today's Gazette stating that a new Pew Research Center poll suggests half the public had heard nothing about President Obama's speech Friday outlining new restrictions on the National Security Agency.

Does that mean you don't care that someone from the government might be monitoring your every phone call or email? Do you not care about your civil liberties? Do you think government efforts—regardless of how extreme—to stop terrorists should take precedence over your constitutional rights to privacy?

Obama tried to balance government surveillance policies against the public's civil liberties in announcing steps to end the NSA's ability to store phone data collected from millions of Americans.

He didn't say the program would end, only that the NSA no longer would hold the information. (Maybe the government could farm out that job to a company such as the one securing Target's customer records.) Obama also announced more restrictions on spying on international leaders.

I was listening to WCLO's Tim Bremel early in his “Your Talk Show” last week, and Bremel suggested that some Americans might go so far as to abandon their electronic communications gadgets and go “off the grid” to avoid government snoops. That new Pew poll, however, seems to suggest that most Americans are unconcerned.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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