Don't excuse NSA's wrongdoing [Letter]

September 02, 2014

Gary Sullivan's commentary defending the actions of the National Security Agency is full of faulty arguments ("Too much of a good thing," Aug. 27). First of all, the Fourth Amendment is the law and was established at the time of this country's founding. No one needs to "get out and vote" in order to be protected by it from government spying.

In any case, the NSA's policies were kept secret so no one could have voted to support or oppose them in the first place. To those who are concerned about the NSA violating their privacy, Mr. Sullivan offers nothing more than the empty, self-serving claim that the NSA is too busy saving our lives to do so. The NSA is a massive organization staffed by human beings. It is impossible to know how many of them might be tempted to make unprofessional use of the private information they are constantly collecting.

Finally, he resorts to belittling Edward Snowden, a man who gave up his entire life as he knew it to reveal to the public what he justifiably felt was wrongdoing on the part of the American government. While Mr. Sullivan may pine for the days when people were less apt to question government authority, to those of us who feel that the government is intruding upon privacy and civil liberties, the fact that someone in his position can so easily be dismissive of these concerns and of people who raise them is evidence enough that they are well founded.

Mark Wall, Parkville

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