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Ask a cop: Do you support NSA surveillance?

By Officer Anonymous | Posted - Aug 5th, 2013 @ 11:54am



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Have you ever wanted to ask a cop a question but have either been too afraid or had warrants? Well now is your chance through the safety of the Internet. Officer Anonymous gives his take on the NSA surveillance program.

SALT LAKE CITY — I honestly don't think the NSA surveillance really that big of a deal. I'm not speaking with terrorists, I'm not planning terrorist activities, and I don't have anything to hide — except my identity — for these articles. OK, so I have one thing to hide. I doubt that is enough to draw Sauron's eye to my direction.

We complain about our right to privacy all the time. Yet we get our identities and private information stolen frequently by shoddy business practices from health care services to credit card services to state-run services. We even give our privacy away freely every time we download an app that has a waiver telling us that it would like to monitor this or have access to that. Most I think don't even read that and click accept so they can get to shooting birds at other farm animals.

It is amazing how many contests people will sign up for, giving all their private information for the off-chance to win a car or a less-than-desirable vacation. Maybe the government is buying the same information that spam email and advertising companies are buying.

Google tracks every move you make on the Internet and so do other browsers just so they can attempt to steer you to the stores you want to shop at or thought about shopping at. They roll out stats all the time about usage and visits or searches at different times.


The media and people will yell and scream at law enforcement for not preventing mass shootings, bombings or other terrible events. Then the government comes up with something that works and people and the media begin to yell and scream that it's too invasive. Which do you want? More security or more freedom?

There is some individual out there, wearing his tinfoil hat, reading this article and seething because I just don't get it. I don't understand the implications of what they are doing. I understand; it just doesn't affect me. Show me one person who has been impacted negatively by collecting “meta data.” Anyone been arrested by guys in black with silent helicopters? I'd love to hear about it.

Then there is the argument that if you give up that freedom what else will they take? Which right are we giving up exactly? The Fourth Amendment? The Fifth or the Ninth? How about the 14th? Which amendment covers Internet searches, Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and so on? I don't think the Founding Fathers could have guessed about all the implications of the Internet. Do we need to add more laws to cover it?

The media and people will yell and scream at law enforcement for not preventing mass shootings, bombings or other terrible events. Then the government comes up with something that works and people and the media begin to yell and scream that it's too invasive. Which do you want? More security or more freedom?

I like more security personally. No, it's not because I'm a cop. I like freedom just like the next guy. I also like it when my plane doesn't blow up that I'm flying on. I like when terrorist plots are foiled and the day is saved. I hate when I see mass casualty events and feel helpless to stop them.

I am surprised that people think this is a new situation and the first of its kind. I have heard of the NSA since I was a kid. I heard the stories how the government monitors your phone conversations and there were large computers listening for key words used together, like “bomb,” “Jihad,” “seventy virgins” … was that a knock at my door? I swear I remember reading an article where entire conversations were recorded if words like that were spoken. Or maybe I saw it in a movie.

People now think that law enforcement is in cahoots with the NSA and we are just looking up people willy nilly with all our free time, trying to find criminals because we apparently have run out of them. I have never even seen or spoken to an NSA employee. Although if they look like Edward Snowden, then I may have made fun of one at Liberty Park fighting each other with foam swords. I should be nicer to those guys.

Edward Snowden

Speaking of Edward Snowden, he is not a hero. He's a weasel who thought he would be the next Julian Assange and get books and movie deals. He made oaths to keep his work private for the safety of the country. There was oversight, and your elected officials seemed fine with what the NSA is doing. He needs to go to jail for a long time.

Every time I have needed information on someone, I get warrants and find the information the legal way. I like to obtain probable cause when I am going to do a lot of paperwork to find out about you. I have way too many cases to handle to just check on any person for fun. Plus it is really difficult to get warrants and orders without that pesky probable cause and a signature from a judge. This probable cause means that I have to be darn sure you are actually a criminal through evidence, witnesses and other documentation.

If you really want to see how tedious an investigation is and how many hoops we have to jump through, do a GRAMA request for a police report you were involved with. It will be light reading if it is a vandalism of a fence, but if it is a major case, you can see boxes of reports. I wish our job was as easy as just typing in who we wanted to look at and the NSA would just spit it out for us, but how would we explain that on a report? NSA gave me suspect info, so he's guilty? We still have to win a case in court by a jury of our peers.

This article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. I do not represent any specific agency or government. Please send questions to askacop@ksl.com

Officer Anonymous

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