The US Government should not be given wide latitude to use electronic surveillance on its citizens. The government cites national security as the reasoning behind surveillance, but often times, national surveillance is not even effective in keeping the country safe or preventing terrorist attacks. In 2013, the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies analyzed terrorism cases from 2001 and onward. They found that the NSA's phone record collection was "not essential to preventing attacks." The idea of surveilling the entire population to find terrorists has been equated to finding a needle in a haystack because terrorists are so rare and the vast majority of people are innocent.
The government employing surveillance methods on the population also infringes upon American and human rights. The need for surveillance implies that citizens are all potentially guilty, rather than innocent until proven guilty. The presumption of innocence has been declared as an international human right by the United Nations. In addition, the Fourth Amendment states that without probable cause, law enforcement is not allowed to search an area or seize any items or people. The government does not have probable cause to look into our online history, yet they continue to do so.