Reports circulating in the press indicate that as much as U.S. President Barack Obama has stated he seeks to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) the agency has revealed they plan to expand domestic and international spying, much of which is illegal. Under the U.S. Constitution, NSA spying on Americans is illegal. However, in a scandal I broke, which was confirmed by documents leaked years later by courageous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, the agency has been violating the Constitution. Though Congress has vocally spoken out against it, they’ve done nothing to stop it.
NSA spying emanating from the program PRISM (among other illegal spy programs the agency maintains in tandem with the FBI and CIA) is very costly and coming straight out of taxpayer money to the tune of billions of dollars per year. This money could be better served in the U.S. economy creating jobs, scholarships for students seeking to attend university, underwriting Small Business Association loans, providing grants for Americans seeking to buy a home who qualify but do not have sufficient funds for the down payment plus closing costs, revitalizing neighborhoods suffering from urban decay and helping the homeless. Instead the money is going to a series of computer systems to collect illegally obtained surveillance data that is very expensive to maintain. The money to purchase the computers and related software was not spread around many companies and people. It was a poor use of taxpayer money that isn’t making America any richer.