How can President Obama defend NSA spying on U.S. citizens? [Letter]

It was disappointing to read that President Obama is resisting calls for change at the National Security Agency ("Obama hints at change in NSA phone practice," Dec. 21).

Edward Snowden has done this country a great service by revealing many of the illegal activities of the NSA. Instead of the ordering the agency to respect the Bill of Rights, the president fiddles while the Constitution burns.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote in an email that "the NSA today is out of control and we need strong legislation to rein them in. In a free society, the government does not collect data on tens of millions of people, 99.999 percent of whom have nothing to do with terrorism. We must be vigilant in protecting the American people from terrorism, but we can do that without taking away the constitutional and privacy rights which make us a free nation."

Why does our president continue to allow this rogue agency to trample upon our rights? Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss call the NSA's collection of electronic "metadata" a "valuable analytical tool" in the fight against terrorism. But neither the Democratic senator nor the Republican senator offer any evidence that this program is protecting U.S. citizens.

As a Marylander, I feel it is my responsibility to visit Fort Meade and to protest the NSA's nefarious activities. I can't remain silent, as the situation would only get worse.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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