It is upsetting that somewhere in some underground mine there are acres of computers mining everyone's electronic communications. Sadly we live in a world where such extreme and exhaustive measures are necessary. This is the post September 11, 2001 world we live in. There are bad people who have no scruples about murder and destruction of a massive scale. Some wise man once said something about ...'those who sacrifice freedom for security' were not deserving of either. That wise man did not inhabit the world we do. I would argue that those who aren't prepared to sacrifice some freedom for security will not have either.
I think that the spying done by the NSA has a purpose. While a lot of people may have a problem with the actions and policies of the NSA, a lot of what they're doing is to protect the safety a lives of the American people. That is why I support the NSA.
The NSA could be more efficient by not tapping into people's devices that pose no threat to anyone. I know many monitors have to follow what their bosses tell them. They should provide their bosses better feedback, that way they can spy on the people who pose real threats to the world and our country.
Yes, I believe that NSA spying does have a real purpose. We have serious threats for the outside and inside. It is shame that we must look at our own people as terrorist, but this is the reality. Privacy is a great privilege, but in some case it can be taken away to ensure the safety of our nation and its citizens.
If we're to believe the National Security Agency, its spying operations have prevented a multitude of terrorist events from happening in the United States already. It doesn't help their morale much to say they're lying about it, because those events are classified. While the NSA's spying scope should be narrowed, I do believe them and that they have the best interests of the nation at their hearts.
Remember, it's the National SECURITY Agency. In order to know that there is an unusual uptick in the amount of chatter (as in preceding a terrorist act) you have to, by definition, know what 'usual' is like. How do you accomplish this? By monitoring all telephony activity. And yes, it must be stored (at least for some duration) in order to develop algorithms that can be used to predict future activities.
The NSA's spy program has a lot of significant purposes. By monitoring electronic information, the NSA can help identify terrorists. It is important for the government to do everything they can to prevent more terrorist attacks like those of 911. Sometimes national security is more important that protecting civil rights.