The government is using programs like Project Prism, which many have probably never heard of, in order to “protect” its national security. The program was created in 2007 by the Bush administration as a means to uphold national security against terroristic activities. The program uses social media as well as phone records in order to keep tabs on those they feel are involved in terroristic or criminal activity, but has since become a means for invading the privacy of innocent American citizens. This is the general idea shared by many citizens and a major topic in government debate, divided by those who feel that this is a breach of the constitution and is unjust and those who agree that it is a small breech, but a necessary one. After doing research online and reading articles by Brian Hammond it is very clear that this project set forth by the government is in fact in violation of the fourth amendment of the constitution, which in short guarantees the right to privacy for citizens who do not pose a threat to national security. Like every debate there exist two sides to argue, in this case the major argument is the good that comes of the prism project and programs similar to it.
These programs use many different resources in order to gather information on those they deemed to be a threat to national security, but in order to gain access to those who are in fact threats they must sift through data on all including those who are innocent. After reading multiple articles by Brian Hammond I learned of Project Prism and similar programs and gained some understanding on how they work. The government gains access to personal information through social media, online databases, and even cell phone records from service providers. Hammond points out Obama’s answers to questions about Project Prism where Obama says, “Now, with respect to the internet and e-mails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens, and it does not apply to people living in the United States.” Here Obama explains the program as it is supposed to be enforced, but unfortunately that did not seem to be the case as briefly touched based upon by Kim Dotcom, an online writer for the website www.theguardian.com, in his article “Prism: concerns over government tyranny are legitimate”.
The government has also been using the likes of social media in order to gain information on potential threats to national security, but this is not limited to just the actual threats. In order to find the threats data on everyone is looked through in order to find the potential terroristic activity. According to Joe Wolverton in his online article, “Social Spying”,
The Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center (NOC) released its Media Monitoring Initiative late last year, and in that report the intelligence-gathering arm of the DHS. the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS), gives itself permission to “gather, store, analyze, and disseminate” data on millions of users of social...