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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: National Security
December 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

NSA spying reaches into people’s lives

Technology companies need to decide if it’s worth violating their users privacy to comply with agencies like the NSA

 National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

As recent news reports have stated, the NSA has been monitoring people’s activities for a while [“U.S., Brits spy on fantasy gamers,” page one, Dec. 10].

Now even virtual massively multiplayer online game worlds have been breached by the agency, and there is no telling how much further the fingers of the NSA have reached into the average person’s life.

While monitoring the many facets of Internet communications in the interest of safety is a good purpose, the corruption of this interest that happens makes it a complete violation of people’s right to privacy. The biggest problem with the NSA’s monitoring is that it’s assuming that everyone is to blame. People who don’t have any history of criminal activity and are law-abiding citizens are being treated like suspects of a crime that hasn’t even been committed yet. The vision of the U.S. is freedom and liberty, but the NSA monitoring treats the American citizen like an animal that cannot be left alone because it’s going to do something bad.

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Comments | More in National Security | Topics: national security, NSA

December 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Early education is important for future national security

High-quality education can help high school graduation rates and military entrance exam scores

I applaud your editorial supporting the Strong Start for America’s Children Act [“Pass early learning plan,” Opinion, Dec. 6].

As a retired Coast Guard admiral, I would like to add that high-quality early childhood education is also important for our future national security. The Department of Defense estimates that 75 percent of young people nationwide cannot serve in the military, and poor academic achievement is one of the leading reasons.

In Washington state, almost one in four young people does not graduate from high school on time. And of those who graduate and try to join the military, one in six cannot pass the military’s entrance exam.

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Comments | More in Education, National Security | Topics: national security