Essential Pittsburgh
5:36 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Gen. Michael Hayden on Why NSA Spying is Reasonable

Credit CIA / Wikipedia

In the wake of the Edward Snowden/NSA scandal, people all over the world are up in arms about their personal information being collected without their knowledge.

In America, citizens think their privacy is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

"Whatever happened to prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure?” asks Essential Pittsburgh host, Paul Guggenheimer.

According to General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and NSA, the keyword is unreasonable.

For example, TSA agents in airports perform searches without warrants and they have the right to seize items if deemed illegal or hazardous.

“As inconvenient or unwarranted as these searches are, we all can recognize that they are reasonable,” he says.

Hayden says America’s war on terror in the Middle East is very different than the wars we’ve fought in the past.

“During the Cold War, the enemy was easy to find but hard to stop. Now, in the current war against Al Qaeda, they’re relatively easy to stop but hard to find."

In his opinion, this is an intelligence war. If you follow the weapons, follow the people or follow the money, and get the intelligence right, you can stop the group of people working to kill us, he explains.

And if that means spying on people and collecting their data in secret, then so be it.