NSA surveillance programs: How far is too far?

Locals praising, condemning federal programs

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The leak of the National Security Agency's internet and phone monitoring programs has people across America asking question about the federal government's information gathering practices. Some south Florida residents were praising the government programs while others were condemning the programs.

When the federal government went looking for phone numbers tied to terrorists, it collected the records of just about everyone in the United States.

"I feel like the government is really intruding on us," said Jeffrey Goodfriend, a Wellington resident.

Since the leak about the NSA's surveillance of phone and internet activity, many Americans have been asking each other: how far is too far?

At Howley's diner in West Palm Beach, some customers were worried about what federal officials have done - and can do - in private.

"You're having no other choice and there's no freedom," said Harlee Christman of West Palm Beach.

Valerie Seiferd of West Palm Beach believes the NSA's now-controversial monitoring programs are 'a necessary evil'.

"I'd rather have them check on people and maybe stop another towers incident from happening," Seiferd, who also questions whether the tools being used could also be abused.

"That's the part that's scary for me," she said.

Former CIA Agent Brad Robinson now heads up The Millennium Group, a private security firm in West Palm Beach.

"If people want 100 percent security, there's going to be a certain trade-off involved," said Robinson. "And that can also translate to potential infringements on your constitutional rights, your civil liberties," said Robinson.

That balance is exactly what some locals believe is tough to find - and even more difficult to maintain.

"There has to be a balance," said Seiferd. "There has to be a little of that but not as much as I think there is going on."



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