The NSA is not watching you.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the National Security Administration (NSA) can reach roughly 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic, but it is not reaching for your tweets or Instagram photos.
The NSA’s filtering is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or those that are entirely foreign in nature.
It is absurd to believe the government is reading your Facebook statuses and tapping into your phone calls because what people seem to forget is that the NSA looks at the U.S. internet traffic to protect us. Their work helps to prevent terrorist action that threatens our safety.
The spotlight was directed toward the NSA when Edward Snowden, a computer specialist working for the CIA and NSA, leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British surveillance programs. Some countries saluted him as a courageous whistle-blower, but he was condemned as a traitor to his own country.
All of the media focus on Snowden’s residence in Moscow’s airport and his mission to find asylum pitted the American government against countries that wanted to assist Snowden. This and the ongoing Snowden saga have created a false sentiment that the American government is watching everything.
That simply is not true.
Billions of phone calls and Internet searches happen everyday. I believe that the NSA is not going to spend millions of dollars to looking into the Google searches of citizens. However, if someone is making frequent phone calls to historic terrorism hotbeds, it may be another story.
The NSA monitors calls and Internet traffic they deem important to the safety of American citizens. They are not going to listen in on your conversation with your grandmother in Italy about her new pizza recipe. So next time you go online to rant about how much you hate the American government and about how they are watching your every move, just remember that they probably aren’t.
In a country of almost 314 million people, the NSA has better things to do than laugh at your late night texts or snapchats.