Why The Cia Wanna Watch Us

Background Information

Since its inception in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has assumed the role of gathering, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence and implementing policy initiatives. The institution has seen its mandate expand over the years and includes conducting international investigations and operations against foreign governments, engaging in covert operations, both domestically and internationally, and providing intelligence around the world. As a result, many have placed their suspicions as to why the CIA may have an interest in monitoring the US population.

Relevant Data

There are a myriad of theories as to why the CIA would be interested in monitoring the US population, ranging from bureaucratic desires to extend its power and influence to overly-intrusive systems that threaten the basic civil liberties of US citizens. A report by Amnesty International (AI) found that US laws and practices have enabled a wide range of surveillance actions by the US government which can include extraordinary powers of surveillance over US citizens. AI further notes that many of the US government surveillance programs are conducted in secret, under the cloak of government authority, and without sufficient oversight by citizens or their representatives.

Expert Perspectives

Experts in the field agree that the purpose of the CIA’s monitoring of the US public is far from benign. In a report on the CIA’s “Total Information Awareness” program, Professor Stephen Schulhofer of NYU said that the program “…invades the privacy of everyday Americans and violates the government’s own laws and regulations designed to protect privacy”. Furthermore, Amy Zegart, an expert in intelligence and national security at Stanford, warns that “The privacy threats posed by the CIA’s surveillance activities are real and must be taken seriously”. Others point out that such programs have far overstepped legal boundaries, including constitutional guarantees against search and seizure, as well as laws protecting the privacy of US citizens.

Analysis and Own Insights

In their attempts to aggressively monitor the US public, the CIA has shown a disturbing disregard for the rights of US citizens. The agency has demonstrated a willingness to expand its powers and authority in secret, without public debate or involvement. This has led to an erosion in public trust and has placed US citizens in vulnerable positions where their very privacy and basic civil liberties are being challenged.
It must be considered whether such intrusive and secretive surveillance is really necessary or whether it could be reined in and better managed under a system of public oversight. The current reality is that the CIA not only has a wide ranging and unchecked ability to watch over the US public, but it has done so without public knowledge or consent.

Privacy of Digital Communications

To a large extent, the CIA’s attempts to monitor US citizens have been facilitated by the increased use of digital and online communications tools. This has created a whole new set of privacy issues as the US government has been armed with the ability to monitor US citizens’ online activities. It has also made it possible for the CIA to monitor US citizens’ activities at a much larger scale and reach than was ever possible before. This means that citizens are now facing unprecedented levels of surveillance and intrusion by the CIA and its government partners.
To counter this, US citizens should be made aware of the range of technology and tools available to protect their privacy and digital communications. There are a variety of encryption technologies, anonymizing services and software packages available which can help citizens protect their digital privacy. These technologies are reliable and effective, and should be utilized as much as possible to ensure that US citizens’ digital communications are not being monitored by the CIA and other governmental entities.

Overly Aggressive Surveillance Practices

Another concerning aspect is the overly aggressive and intrusive surveillance practices of the CIA. This agency has a disturbing habit of going through the back door in order to gain access to information that citizens are not aware of, or not comfortable sharing with the government. This is a huge invasion of privacy and should be avoided at all costs.
One of the primary motivations for the CIA’s intrusions has been to gain a better understanding of US citizens’ political leanings and affiliations. This type of surveillance is unacceptable and should be ceased immediately. The CIA should also be more transparent in its surveillance activities, and provide better oversight in order to ensure that invasions of privacy are kept to a minimum.

Domestic Spying

Domestic spying by the CIA has been a contentious issue for many years, and it has only intensified since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The US government has justified its domestic spying activities as a necessary component of the war on terrorism. However, the CIA has been accused of going beyond the boundaries of its mandate and engaging in blanket surveillance of US citizens.
In addition to the concerns about privacy, there are also concerns about the legal framework surrounding domestic spying. US lawyers and legal scholars are divided on the issue, with some arguing that existing laws are clear enough to provide enough legal protections to US citizens, while others argue that laws need to be amended and changed to better protect citizens. It is clear that further clarification of the legal framework is needed to ensure that US citizens’ privacy is respected and their rights are protected.

International Law and Privacy Rights

The CIA’s surveillance activities also raise questions about US compliance with international law and privacy rights. International organizations such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe have outlined legal requirements for states engaging in surveillance, including requiring member states to obtain prior informed consent of individuals and communities prior to engaging in any surveillance activity.
The US government has been found to have breached these rules, particularly in the context of its activities in the Middle East. The US must adhere to international law and privacy rules in order to ensure that US citizens’ rights are respected when it comes to surveillance, and to demonstrate to the world that US citizens’ privacy is taken seriously.


The CIA’s surveillance activities have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, especially in light of the revelations of its activities revealed in the wake of the Edward Snowden affair. It is clear that the CIA has overstepped its bounds and has violated US citizens’ rights to privacy and civil liberties.
The CIA must take steps to ensure that it respects the privacy of US citizens and acts with oversight in its surveillance activities. US citizens should also ensure that they are taking all the necessary steps to protect their digital communications and privacy. Ultimately, the US government must ensure that it is living up to its own laws and international humanitarian laws and respecting the privacy and civil liberties of US citizens.

Categories CIA

Rosemary Harrold is an accomplished writer and researcher who is both passionate and knowledgeable about the world of secret services. She gained an MSc in International Relations in 2017 and has since built on her expertise with numerous publications on intelligence agencies, their practices, and recent developments. Rosemary has been writing about IBM, CIA and FBI activities since then, as well as providing in-depth analysis on intelligence-related topics.

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