Covert Monitoring Of Private Communications

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Shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the US Patriot Act granted was enacted granting wide legal authority to the intelligence community as a defensive measure against future terrorist attacks. Among those new powers, included in Article 215, is the right to obtain business records, while imposing a gag order on the party holding those records. This law remains the foundation upon which the current NSA phone metadata collection campaign is operated. In October 2001, President Bush ordered the National Security Agency to commence covert monitoring of private communications through the nation 's telephone companies without the requisite FISA warrants. The agency began surveilling the Internet for emails, financial data, and voice messaging on belief that such "metadata" was "not constitutionally protected." In effect, by penetrating the Internet for text and the parallel Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for voice, the NSA had gained access to much of the world 's telecommunications. At the end of Bush 's term in 2008, Congress had enacted laws that not only retrospectively legalized these programs, but also prepared the way for NSA surveillance to grow unchecked. Rather than restrain the agency, President Obama oversaw the expansion of its operations 1.2 Revelations of Government Overreach On June 9, 2013 Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, admitted that he leaked NSA information. The Snowden leaks reveals that the NSA collects

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