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Domestic Surveillance And The Snowden Leak Pros And Cons

Decent Essays
Jack Luddy
Ms. Ripa
Research Methods - Informative Paper
11 September 2015
Domestic Surveillance and the Aftermath of the Snowden Leak Over the past year or two, newspapers, radio stations, and news broadcasts have been covering the rapid ascent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS. But they have spread far beyond those material boundaries, reaching into the minds and homes of young people across the globe. These young people are led to believe that ISIS is saving the world, not harming it and that they must partake in the fight for religious dictatorship. They are instructed over the internet to perform acts of terrorism in their own country, known as domestic terrorism. Due to the dramatic increase in terrorist activity
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Bush signed into law the Patriot Act which had recently been passed by Congress. This act was renewed in June of 2015 by Congress and signed off by President Obama. The four year extension gives the NSA and other government agencies permission for roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of lone wolves, who are also known as homegrown terrorists. But there is one part of this bill that stands out among the rest. The controversy surrounding Section 215 is mainly in part due to the action that it allows. It grants the NSA the ability and the permission for mass phone data collection. They used programs such as Mystic, Muscular, X Keystone, and primarily Prism to complete this task. It does not include the content of the calls, but it does include duration, who you are calling, distance between calls, and frequency of calls to the same number. However, thanks to Congress, Section 215 was amended and phone companies will retain the data and the NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal…show more content…
According to Title 50, United States Code, sections 1809(a)(1) “A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally engages in elctronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute.” Clearly, the NSA program qualifies as electronic surveillance, thus the program is illegal, unless “authorized by statute” or deemed unconstitutional. Is it legal? The Supreme Court has avoided concrete statements that would answer that question. The most relevant and recent judicial announcement came from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Cour of Review’s opinion in Sealed Case NO. 02-001.61. It state, “We take for granted that the President does have the authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information and, assuming that is so, FISA (Foreign Surveillance Investigative Agency) could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.” However, the NSA program has violated FISA regulation, therefore it has been questioned whether or not the NSA is constitutional. Is it a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights? The wiretapping program violates FISA, a solid congressional regulation of the government’s powers. FISA creates criminal liability for those who conduct such wiretapping. Whether or not they should be prosecuted, those persons have committed federal
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