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Your e-mails: The government and your phone records


How does the report that the NSA is building a database of Americans' phone calls make you feel?
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(CNN) -- asked users for their reaction to Thursday's USA Today report that the National Security Agency, with the cooperation of three telecommunication companies, has compiled a database of millions of domestic phone calls. Here is a sampling from the responses, some of which have been edited:

We have got to stop Big Brother before the momentum of these Presidential Task Forces blossoms into reduced civil liberties for the entire nation! I do not want a phone call that I make to be recorded on anyone's database to see who I am speaking with. I do not want the books I read at the library to be cataloged into a database so someone can predict my politics. I do not want the Federal Government spending millions of dollars policing citizens of this country. I do not feel that the benefit of reducing domestic terrorism outweighs the privacy we should enjoy when using this form of communication. The Fourth Amendment protects us from the government for exactly this purpose. Let's just throw out the Bill of Rights and live in a police state.
Markle Janner, Tampa, Florida

I feel as if the government is accumulating a large database on the activities of its citizens and residents. As a person with no conceivable connection to al-Qaeda or terrorist activities I fail to see why the government needs the majority of information it is collecting. I feel my privacy is compromised for little good reason. I believe a more targeted approach to intelligence gathering would be more effect and productive. This is not reflective, in my opinion, of the values and principles this country was founded on nor does it reflect the country I have grown up in and love.
Jacqueline, Elgin, Illinois

I believe it is fair and just for the government to monitor domestic telephone calls. If you are not doing anything illegal, what is there to hide? Uncle Sam can listen to me talk anytime he wants.
David, North Wales, Pennsylvania

Even though tightened security is necessary in this day and age, the basic freedoms establish by the founders of this country are being destroyed by the Administration. The United States over the past 6 years is turning into a third world country after once being a proud leader of the world. We need to have are priorities re-thought and start putting our energy and resources into areas such as border security and illegal immigration, and reduce the thoughts that anyone who is not a "conservative" Republican is an enemy of the state.
Michael Durski, Buffalo, New York

For the purpose of keeping Americans safe, of course they should. I do not commit crimes and I love my country. I have nothing to hide. Do you?
Dave Gilbert, Somerset, Kentucky

I'm scared for the future of America. If that database fell into the wrong hands, it could harm the lives of millions. Let's start respecting the Bill of Rights, Mr. Bush!
Matt Hornyax, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I am appalled by this new information. It is an insult to the right of every American to protect one's privacy. It insults our Congress that the reason they were not informed is because they cannot be trusted with the information. I am disgusted that some of the large telephone companies would agree to this conspiracy. I think this behavior is an impeachable offence. I cannot express the rage I feel at this new way to monitor the American people.
Karen Berlant-Solomon, Van Nuys, California

I think this will allow for a comparison between the foreign database and the domestic. This will allow for possible links with cell members who will pass information from those who call or receive info from foreign calls. One should ask the family members of those who died on 9/11 if they think this is a good idea. I would bet that they would say that anything that could prevent another 9/11 would be worth it.
Jack Davis, Barnegat, New Jersey

I'm afraid to answer the question. There's rampant monitoring of so many things now, I wouldn't want to be put on the wrong list and have someone waste their time monitoring my nondescript life.
Jeff Sutterfield, Covington, Kentucky

First we learned the NSA was monitoring foreign phone calls by U.S. residents, with assurances that no calls within the U.S. were monitored. Now we learn the NSA is building a database of phone calls within the U.S. The next logical step is that the NSA will use the database to determine the content of phone calls that may have already occurred. The erosion of civil liberties in the name of protecting the country by the Bush administration has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. What's next, the NSA eavesdropping on family picnics to determine if Osama Bin Laden or one of his minions is dining?!
Daniel Kolb, Grapevine, Texas

The fuss over the NSA phone call surveillance program convinces me that the Congress and the American people in general do not yet comprehend the seriousness of the threat that this country is confronted with. Apparently a major U.S. city will have to be vaporized by nuclear attack before that will happen. If and when it does, you can bet that "privacy" concerns will disappear from the news.
Charles Fenwick, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many people say, "If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about." But that isn't really the point, is it? What stops government abuse of power from misuse of information they are not entitled to? What kind of respect does it engender for government when the government breaks the rules? What kind of example does it set for its citizens? How do we lecture other countries about government abuses when our government breaks its own laws and keeps it secret from the citizenry? Governments from Russia to China right now probably cannot wait to crow over this news -- unless Bush attempts to ban overseas circulation of American news.
Larry Siegel, Manteno, Illinois

At the end of the day, who cares if the government is listening or collecting our phone calls? What is there to hide? It potentially can stop crimes or injuries or what we are hoping, terrorist attacks. People need to RELAX.
Joe Bracken, Quincy, Massachusetts

Why? What's next? I believe the monitoring of telephone calls is the beginning of the slippery slope that erodes our personal freedoms and extends the arm of government. What happened to the conservative movement, i.e., less government?
Nancy Richards, Delray Beach, Florida

I'm absolutely fine with it! Since 9/11, we live in a different world with an enemy who is difficult to find. They want to hide among us, and use our rights and freedoms to destroy us. If it takes a little snooping around my personal records in order for the government to uncover terrorists and their activities, then I'M IN!
Bill Konst, Gilbert, Arizona

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