It’s a normal day at NCC. Students are rushing to class, talking with friends, and updating social media accounts. A student took a picture and posted it to Instagram, another retweeted a funny post on Twitter and shared an article on Facebook so friends can see. However, the student’s friends were not the only ones who saw the pictures or posts. The government was watching the whole time.
The NSA, National Security Agency, has been keeping track of the public for a long time. Every time a social media account is accessed, the NSA sees it. A song on Pandora, a picture on Instagram, a tweet on twitter or a Facebook post, the NSA can see it.
The government scours the internet for anything that seems out of the ordinary. If a word or picture looks out of context, the government will know what it means. They track the account and make a move to arrest when the time is right.
Recently, the government has been debating with social media companies, such as Facebook, over privacy protection. Facebook has many privacy settings that the user may activate to prevent other users from seeing any personal information that is not meant to be seen except by friends and family. That way, stalkers and criminals won’t be able to find out where the user lives, works, or went to school. The government wants the amount of privacy settings to be very limited or non-existent. The government claims that it would make it easier to find terrorist organizations, or other criminals, online and prevent any further attacks or crimes. Terrorist organizations, such as Islamic State, use social media to recruit new members.
As long as the user has nothing too personal, like nude photos per say, there is no need to worry if the government looks at people’s profiles. Vaughn Cummings, general studies major, claims that he has nothing to hide.
“The NSA basically has free reign when it comes to [searching people’s profiles].”
Another student, who wished to be anonymous, said, “It doesn’t matter if the government checks my profile. I’ll bet some hacker did that already.”
Be smart about what gets posted on social media because it can hurt someone. Companies look at people’s personal profiles on social media and factor what the user posts into the decision to higher the person. The students of NCC should not worry so much about the government watching over us, but rather the big businesses that may want a bright, young graduate. It is arguable that all of this could be considered invasion of privacy. In the government’s case, it’s just a matter of national security.
While the user may not be affiliated with any sort of criminal activities, the NSA, CIA, and any other government agencies have to be sure. They are just doing their jobs. As for everything else, whatever is put out on the internet can be seen, no matter how many different privacy settings are set. Everyone knows about the iCloud and Snapchat celebrity leaks. Those photos should have been kept private or deleted. Those celebrities that had photo leaks now have damaged reputations. The government probably knew about them way before the public learned, but the government cannot be blamed for trying to do its job of protecting the nation, even if it does mean nude photographs end up in the mix of data that is the World Wide Web.