The NSA has disclosed that for years agents have been, without warrants, monitoring numerous individuals’ phone records and other electronic communications. This is clearly an invasion of privacy and was brought to light by NSA employee who leaked the information to a British newspaper. The NSA employee is now hiding in Hong Kong and facing Federal charges.
In testimony before Congress, NSA and other government officials have testified that the surveillance has thwarted at least 50 terror plots within our borders. These government officials believe that protecting against terror justifies continued monitoring.
The issue is the nexus between the 4th Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and the government’s responsibility to provide for our common defense.
In our opinion, the role of government needs to expand and shrink with the threats present at any given time. While we may not want this type of government monitoring, we want terror attacks even less.