Government Surveillance Of The United States

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Over the past few years, government surveillance in the United States has become a widely debated issue with two completely different sides. The National Security Agency, a government agency known for it’s efforts in spying and surveillance, has been at the center of this issue since it’s founding in the 1950’s. The Cold War had just begun and the United States government was doing anything they could to find potential terrorists and communists. In fact, many famous people including Einstein were being spied on by the government to find citizens with potential ties to the Soviet Union. (New York Times - New Details Emerge from the Einstein Files; How the FBI Tracked His Phone Calls and His Trash) As the cold war came to an end in the early 90’s, NSA spying seemed to come to an end as well. However, their efforts stepped up significantly after the terror attacks that occurred on 9/11. After 9/11, the government was on high alert for anybody that could be a potential terrorist. The NSA quickly began spying on foreigners suspected of being involved in terrorist activities or associating with potential terrorists. (Wikipedia - Mass Surveillance in the United States) Soon after this, they started intercepting phone conversations and even internet traffic through a program known as PRISM. This program was kept secret for quite a while until NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked thousands of documents to reporters. (PBS - How Edward Snowden Leaked Thousands of NSA Documents)

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