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NSA data collection sends up red flags

10:22 PM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states you have a right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures and a right not to be searched without reason.

But is the government violating that right?

A brand new report from our sister publication USA Today says the National Security Agency intercepted thousands of emails and other online communications from Americans with no connection to terrorism.

In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, the NSA has access to 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic.

So is it happening to you?

If it's electronic, The Spy Shop on Atlantic Boulevard likely has something that can monitor it.

"They have software that can be installed on a computer that can tell you everything that's being done  on the computer," said shop manager John Jordan.

Tracking people and information is their trade, but Jordan said most of his customers are worried about their security.

"Quite a few people come in that are worried about being spied on, having their emails looked at," he said.

For thousands of Americans, that worry has become a reality.

Declassified documents from the NSA show at least 56,000 Americans had their data collected in 2011.

While many people are now calling for more oversight of the agency, Jordan said it doesn't really bug him.

"For me personally, it doesn't matter. I know I'm not doing anything wrong, so they can waste their time and their man hours watching me," he said.

But the agency's ability to legally store data on Americans for up to five years does worry Jordan. Because he said, you never know what will come back to bite you.

"I wouldn't want to do something to go out and make somebody watch you to put you on a terrorist watch  list. Once you're on that list, I would imagine it's really hard to get yourself taken back off of it," he said.

A new tool called "Summon the NSA" pretty much guarantees you will draw the attention of the agency. According to the site, pushing the big red button will instruct your browser to search known watch terms for the NSA.

First Coast News

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