Now that we know the government is monitoring our phone records, internet messages, even credit card purchases, the debate of Big Brother vs. privacy is back front and center.
The government says programs like PRISM helped thwart an attack on NYC subways in 2009.
Najibullah Zazi was busted by the Feds when an Al Qaeda email was traced back to his computer using secret data mining by the FBI.
Zazi and two of his friends from Queens were convicted in a failed plot to set off explosions in Times Square and Grand Central Terminal during rush hour. He now faces life in prison.
News that the government monitors meta data from Verizon, Apple and other tech giants leaked earlier this week and has New Yorkers split on what is acceptable and what is an invasion of privacy.
“I’m afraid to pick up the telephone at this point. I’m afraid to email anyone anything. Maybe I’ll have to go back to snail mail,” one woman at Grand Central Terminal told PIX11.
“I’m okay with the government looking at it [metadata] if it’s going to protect us,” another woman said.
As far as phone records go, the NSA said they are only interested in phone numbers and the length of the phone calls — that’s it.