The Cleveland State chapter of YAL held an NSA Awareness Day on Tuesday, February 25th. The NSA is an issue that students should be aware of and realize just how much of their privacy is being violated. We also tried to help students realize that just because you cannot see the actions of the NSA directly and it may not seem like it’s affecting you as an individual doesn’t make it right.
We passed out flyers that showed students that 1 in 3 are being spied on by the National Security Agency. A lot of them were unaware of the organization. We also had them write their thoughts on the NSA. Many said they didn’t like what the NSA does while some said they thought it was necessary and that they had nothing to hide.
It only started to hit them how intrusive the NSA really is when one of the members of the chapter decided to dress up like an NSA agent. They then saw just how much of a privacy concern it is for anyone to read your texts, emails and listen into your phone conversations. Some people are not worried about the NSA because they can’t see the actions directly. Just because you cannot see actions doesn’t make them right. You cannot protect people by violating their privacy.
A few students thanked members of our chapter for being politically involved, and that was encouraging. We got several new sign-ups, and we plan on doing an NSA Awareness Day at least once a week for the rest of the semester.
It is important to ask the tough questions, especially when it involves a person’s rights and liberties. There is a fine line between liberty and security, and just how far should it go? When you give up some rights here and others there, eventually you realize you no longer have rights. The NSA maybe just one program in the scheme of it all, but what will happen 30 years from now in the name of security and keeping Americans safe? Those are just some of the questions we need to ask before we reach that point.Published in