Target: President Barack Obama, United States Congress
Goal: Create strict provisions and oversight governing domestic surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency
Today the National Security Agency monitors essentially all electronic transmissions and messages within the United States; from cell phone calls to e-mails and text messages, there really isn’t anything they don’t have access to. This current surveillance apparatus was created during the Bush administration in response to the domestic threat of terrorism in the wake of the September 11th attacks, and it basically gives the NSA carte blanche to monitor anyone who is suspected of having a “nexus to terrorism”. The problem is that there is currently no way to ensure that innocent Americans aren’t inadvertently being observed, or to protect their anonymity in the event that they are observed. Help force our representatives to create provisions that would prevent unwarranted surveillance of our citizens.
The sheer amount of data the NSA collects is staggering. They are currently constructing a one million square foot facility in Utah to house the data they’ve already harvested with this system. A senator from Oregon officially inquired as to just how much “collateral” monitoring of innocent Americans actually goes on. The official response was that such a probe into the NSA databases would violate the privacy rights of the people that may or may not have been wrongfully observed. This response is laughable. They are merely feigning responsibility for the protection of individual privacy to hide any past abuses on their part. This is a model with no oversight or accountability, and one where our privacy is the only casualty. The NSA is willing to live with this but we should not be.
The core principles and ultimate goals of the NSA are no doubt altruistic in nature. However, they have been entrusted with too much observational power in the absence of any real oversight. The concession of individual freedom for the sake of security should always be one of the most contentious issues in this country. In this instance, way too much of our privacy was given up without the consent of the general public. Power grabs are quite common in politics. It is our turn to grab a piece of our liberty back. Take this chance to demand our representatives install a system ensuring that the NSA isn’t wrongfully observing innocent citizens.
Dear President Obama and members of Congress,
As citizens of this country we are concerned with the lack of oversight regarding the ever-expanding observational power of the National Security Agency. Currently there is no way to know if innocent citizens are falling prey to their surveillance capabilities. Past inquiries into these matters by members of Congress have been met with nonsensical excuses that claim such a verification of whether or not citizens rights are being violated would amount to a breach of privacy for anyone that has been wrongfully observed. This sort of secrecy for the sake of preserving impunity is unacceptable, and we are demanding that a change be made. We ask that you no longer allow our privacy to become a casualty to unwarranted and unlawful surveillance.
No one should be beyond accountability, especially not those entrusted with guarding the most precious individual freedom of all. We ask you to end any unlawful monitoring of American citizens and setup an oversight system that will prevent the NSA from straying from its original task, which is to ensure the safety of every innocent American. Help us make this surveillance system work for Americans and not against us.
[Your Name Here]
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