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Ohio State students react to National Security Agency program leaks

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Ohio State students are reacting to the recent United States National Security Agency leaks in various ways.

About a month ago, Edward Snowden leaked confidential information he had collected as an employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden revealed the NSA was monitoring phone records of Verizon’s U.S. customers, as well as using Internet surveillance programs, such as Prism, that allowed government officials to access things like search history, emails and file transfers from systems including Google and Facebook. All of this intended to detect and prevent terrorism, according to The Guardian.

Snowden’s leak has been met with various reactions, as some have commended Snowden for uncovering what they see as an intrusion upon U.S. citizens’ rights, and others have spoken out again his leak, feeling that national security has been compromised.

Some OSU students weren’t concerned about the government monitoring.

“I am not worried about it even if they may have private information,” said Akul Kakumani, a fourth-year in mechanical engineering.

Other students felt the government’s actions were an invasion upon their rights.

“I understand there has to be monitoring, but this definitely went over the line in terms of privacy,” said John Bruni, a fourth-year in history.

Max Callahan, a fourth-year in civil engineering, said he feels there should be more monitoring of what the government is keeping track of.

“There should be adequate oversight of the program. I understand there has to be surveillance, but you need a balance between the two,” Callahan said.

Still, other students believed that the NSA’s actions were justified in the interest of national security.

“There is no freedom without a price. If this helps prevent terrorism, it is probably necessary,” said Kpoti Gunn, a graduate student in agricultural engineering from Togo.

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