NSA Spying Goes Too Far, Ossining Residents Say

OSSINING, N.Y. - The NSA's ability to listen in and wiretap phone calls is getting mixed reviews in Ossining.

Tyler Reilly and James Farrell both think the NSA's spying of citizens went too far.
Tyler Reilly and James Farrell both think the NSA's spying of citizens went too far. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

President Obama is unveiling legislation that will overhaul the National Security Agency's ability to store and collect phone calls.

According to Reuters, the administration said it would still be able to access the data if needed. The NSA's surveillance program was exposed last year by contractor Edward Snowden, who fled the country and is seeking permanent political asylum in Russia.

if the government wants to access the data, it would have to get permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and show that the data could be connected to a terrorist attack, the New York Times  reported.

In January, Obama banned eavesdropping on foreign leaders, after it was revealed the NSA tapped the cell phone of Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany.

James Ferrell said the NSA's wiretapping makes him feel like he is in George Orwell's "1984."

"You can't trust the government," Ferrell said. "They know everything."

Ferrell said Obama's move is just an attempt to save some face and earn his credibility back. He said he supports what Snowden did.

"He did what he thought was right," Ferrell said. "The world is better for it."

Tyler Reilly said he doesn't think the government should be so invasive.

"They shouldn't be listening to our phone calls and conducting surveillance," Reilly said.

Reilly believes the government should only be able to access information if it involves a criminal investigation.

"They took it a little too far," Reilly said. 

Reilly said he doesn't consider Snowden a hero or traitor, saying he did what he had to do.

"He felt it was in the best interest to let Americans know about this information," Reilly said.

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