U.S Senators wants the NSA PRISM program to stop
Three U.S senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Mark Udall of Colorado, and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico published an op-ed in the New York Times today, exhorting the U.S Senate to stop encouraging and giving NSA the green light on its "dragnet" surveillance programs. This follows after the recent revelation of NSA's activities that made everyone cry foul, including the government officials now.
"They who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety," the senators wrote to express their disappointment, quoting Benjamin Fraklin.
The op-ed noted that the leaked NSA programs called PRISM, a data harvester program that used tech companies as assets to gather information on anyone, tapping of fiber optic cables to further collect data without knowledge of these companies, as well as using telecommunication carriers to sweep up call data, and all of these are being carried out through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
The contributors went on to question why "for years, American citizens were not able to have the knowledge to challenge infringement of their privacy rights". The senators then continued that the program had no value since the NSA has not provided any evidence wherein they could just source the same information through the use of a regular court order or emergency authorization.
So far, the government has shot down their own bill proposal and amendment called, the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act, which would regulate the FISC and curb data collection. NSA Chief, General Keith Alexander is said to be stepping down from his office on Spring 2014 and President Obama is said to be considering a civilian to take the NSA chief role instead.