CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) -- The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from unusual search and seizure.
But surveillance agencies in Washington are now using a federal court ruling to search cell phone records.
Also, the National Security Agency has been flagged for overstepping its authority in collecting emails.
We samples some opinions, and talk with some internet experts.
We are up to our cyber-necks in the information age.
Never before have so many organizations wanted so much information about you and your activities.
Commercial groups have mined the internet for years and now security agencies like the NSA are sweeping the web looking for the "bad guys".
But that's causing concern among the "good guys"---citizens who use social media, facebook and email.
TREY MOUNT, CHATTANOOGA "I don't really like it..but I don't feel like there's much as a civilian we can do about it."
Worries about invasion of privacy may not be necessary.
SHAYNE WOODS, PRES., FORWARD HEALTH.COM "The probability that they are going to be reading your emails to your friend, or to your girlfriend...something along those lines is infinitesimally small..they can't read every email, nor do they want to."
Max Rava is considered an expert in counter-terrorism.
He recently moved here from Washington, D.C.
MAX RAVA, COMMUNICATIONS DIR., FORWARD HEALTH. COM "They are looking for patterns, they are looking for key words, frequency, but if I have a conversation with my friends..I discuss a lot of policy and political issues...I'm not worried about sending that back and forth in email...because they'll see the pattern."
And security for Americans is still a priority.
DAVID ROSS, UTC PROFESSOR "Terrorism is coming in a variety of different forms including the internet..through the computer."
Jon Moss has a company that uses lots of emails and social media.
JON MOSS, MOSS MEDIA LABS "There seems to be a big outcry over this, and I understand it...but what's interesting is..we're freely giving data to private companies...willingly..you know social media is a public forum."
How much domestic snooping is eventually allowed---is up to the courts.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration petitioned the Supreme Court in support of a policy that allows searches of cell phone records without a warrant.