In this fifteen minute excerpt, 60 Minutes interviews a few of the leading generals in the National Security Agency about the latest procedures and data collection techniques used to promote our homeland security. Lately, due to the recent leaks released by the now infamous Edward Snowden, the NSA has been in the spotlight, being criticized for its pervasiveness and lack of restraints on its tracking abilities. Over the course of these interviews, the NSA explains itself in an attempt to prove to the public that it does not use invasive procedures to gather its information and data; a misconception that has gone viral since the Snowden incident.
Like almost every citizen in America, I have never been directly affected by the processes the NSA uses to obtain information. As explained in the video, the Agency collects personal data from all citizens, yet all sources are anonymous and noninvasive. Several people still feel like they are being spied on mostly due to their misunderstanding/lack of understanding of the NSA’s procedures and exaggerations of the truth. Much speculation has come from only a few, extremely rare, instances where Agency employees have broken their on rules and snooped on their subjects. However, matters dealing with privacy were in the hot seat due to the extremely large number of leaks released by Edward Snowden. A considerable amount of people see Snowden as a man of the people, releasing top-secret government files that reveal the truth about government actions to the people. On the other hand, the NSA views him as a traitor to the American people because he has the ability to reveal several faults in the safety precautions and procedures that could lead to countless problems for the USA’s safety in the future. Although he can sometimes be titled as a “hero” of the people, Snowden sees himself only as an average American exercising his rights.
The most bothersome clip throughout this segment begins around the 10:15 mark, when John Miller asks the leading general of the Agency of the amount of power and the breadth of knowledge that is contained within the millions of files stolen by Snowden. He admits that there are several files that were taken that could lead to several problems for American security, containing information about the weaknesses in the the country’s defense system and its lack of knowledge regarding other nations around the world, such as China, North Korea, and Russia. Fortunately, those files have not been released to the public but the General understands that their release would cause several problems for homeland security.
Like I stated earlier, I have never been bothered by the way the NSA performs is job, but the chance that a revelation could come in the near future is quite nerve-racking and could lead to several more problems for the NSA and the nation’s defense as a whole. Although some leaders in the NSA would like to bargain or correspond with Snowden in order to receive the lost information, others wish to grant him no mercy and to not let him get away with such a huge incident. Although there has been no deal made between the two parties, I feel like it is safe to assume that the NSA is working to retrieve the files and make the best of the Edward Snowden situation.