"Once the NSA gets access to all of that, they're not just getting access to what you're saying, but they're getting access to the information in terms of what you're thinking," he said. "That's where we've got to start putting some regulations on what they can and can't do."
Bamford also said with the amount of information being collected, the NSA has a terrible track record.
"The bigger you make the haystack, the harder it is to find that one little electronic needle in there," he said, referring to situations such as 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing where the "eavesdropping network" failed.
"They found out about all those incidents from a $300 television set on the wall tuned to CNN,” Bamford said. "That’s not supposed to be the way if we’re paying all this money and giving up all this privacy for them to catch these terrorists. The problem is they're collecting way too much information than they can ever do anything with."
U. student Laramie Riggs said she attended the panel to become "more aware" about how her personal information is being accessed and used.
"Being more aware of our actions and how we fit into the government is really valuable for us to take away from this," Riggs said.
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