Stephen Colbert tells Jeffrey Rosen why the NSA is spying on Americans

NCC Staff

The National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen stood up for the Fourth Amendment in an appearance on  The Colbert Report, as host Stephen Colbert revealed the real reason the NSA has a massive spying program.


Rosen talked with the outspoken Colbert on Tuesday night as Colbert remains obsessed with the National Security Agency, leaker Edward Snowden, and the logic behind the whole surveillance scandal.

Colbert is also obsessed with surveillance using microwave ovens, but his questions for Rosen were more about the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure.

Rosen explained to Colbert that he agrees with Colbert’s conservative “hero,” Justice Antonin Scalia, about the government’s invasion of privacy, citing a recent Scalia dissent to a court decision involving police taking the DNA of suspects.

Colbert countered that the government is actually collecting a “haystack” of information to find a needle in it, in the public’s interest.

“I’m pro–Fourth Amendment, and the Fourth Amendment says you cannot have general searches on an ongoing daily basis without particular information that is linked to a particular crime,” Rosen said.

“We are generally under attack, we are generally under threat,” Colbert said, referring to the attacks in Boston and Fort Hood. “Those are spread out across the country.”

Rosen said Americans could be surrendering freedoms unnecessarily and we don’t know if the NSA’s data-mining program works.

“You could design these programs in ways that protect privacy and security at the same time,” Rosen said.

Colbert then dropped the bombshell that he has figured out the whole reason for the NSA’s surveillance program.

“They hate us for our freedoms. The less freedom we have, the less likely they are to attack us,” Colbert said.

You can watch the entire interview below. Plus, check out Rosen’s recent article on privacy, which Colbert references.

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