This spring, Brookings took video cameras to the National Mall and Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. to ask everyday Americans what they thought about the National Security Agency surveillance controversy. What we heard was more nuanced than we expected. Some said flatly that the NSA was violating their civil liberties, others that it is a necessary function of the government’s duty to protect its citizens. More spoke to us about overreach, necessary evils and the need for more transparency, and others simply weren’t concerned about it at all. Watch a collection of these videos below.
Now we want to know what you think, too. Has the U.S. government infringed on our liberty or is surveillance vital to our security? Has the NSA program changed your day-to-day behavior at all?
Share your opinions on the NSA surveillance controversy on Twitter, Instagram or Vine using the hashtag #NSAview. We’ll watch for your submissions and will be sharing the best video, photo and written submissions we see on @BrookingsInst and Facebook.com/Brookings.
Next week, we’ll publish a new Brookings Essay on the NSA and the issues raised by the Edward Snowden revelations. In “The Big Snoop,” Stuart Taylor, Jr. collects the divergent views of four prominent experts to help understand what happened and to frame the debate over the future of the NSA in the post-Snowden era.
The intelligence community certainly can be wrong about these kinds of things, and you do want to take everything with a certain amount of skepticism. That said, it seems like in this case [of the Russian election hacking], they’ve found the tracks—that’s kind of the nice thing about cyber, as best as I understand it, is you can actually go back and see the keystrokes … which was not something that we had in Iraq.
If [ISIS] can't claim attacks, they can't get recruits and can't raise money.