Ever since Edward Snowden's revelations of the National Security Agency, the American public and other countries have criticized the United States for collecting its citizen's data. The NSA has collected data from millions of American citizens. The data collected includes location, phone records, aerial surveillance, and internet data. However, the Obama has made it clear that he would not end the bulk collection of data or give other countries rights to defend their privacy against U.S spying. This collection of data, known as metadata, is data about data which is highly illegal and could cause major problems in the future. The United States Federal Government should substantially curtail its metadata systems.
The NSA's mass surveillance techniques have significantly weakened the security of telecommunication networks and are actually counter effective. Other governments, such as China, can more easily hack into public infrastructure security systems. "Authoritarian government and hackers now have a roadmap to surreptitiously tap into private networks for their own nefarious purposes. By weakening encryption programs and planting backdoor entries to encryption software, the NSA has demonstrated how it is possible to infiltrate and violate information-security systems." (Donahue 14) This is exemplified by the recent hacking of the government which resulted in the information of every single governmental worker in America being exposed. "It seems likely that a bulk collection program would have resulted in a successful terrorist attack instead of a thwarted one bulk collection efforts make target programs less valuable by burying good intelligence within larger volumes of useless information." (Erwin 15) A large-scale collection of the data of every person in the United States is an appalling idea because the information can easily be stolen from the government and actually hinders real surveillance programs from attaining useful information.