Federal supervision of electronics has been prevalent since the 60's, and has become increasingly intrusive with laws such as the ECPA and USA PATRIOT Acts. These laws authorized the legal surveillance of foreigners, and Americans abroad. However, with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requiring communication companies to provide backdoors for government use, agencies such as the National Security Agency have abused their powers in secrecy. More recently, Edward J. Snowden released NSA files that revealed the agency to illicitly engage in unwarranted surveillance of Americans both abroad and at home. (Introduction to Domestic Surveillance: Current Controversies)
The Patriot Act was introduced as a response to the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11th. It has radically changed the way in which the government operates in the investigations of people in and out of our country. It has broadened the powers of the federal government in the way in which they can obtain information on people. In this paper I will be discussing the ethical and moral issues of the expanded ability of wiretapping, search and seizure, the establishment of the FISA court, and end with the transparency of these practices.
The National Security Association (NSA) monitors the communications without warrant or viable cause, except for the threat of terrorist attacks. Allowing the U.S. Government to monitor its people violates their Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Not only is monitoring a violation of right, but the NSA is also keeping
The NSA has been secretly ordered to eavesdrop by the Bush administration after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The base of where the NSA has been operating their wiretapping agenda is in Bluff Dale, Utah the building sprawls 1,500,000 square feet and possess the capacity to hold as much as five zeta bytes of data it has cost almost $2,000,000,000. The act of spying over the USA citizens even though they are suspicious is a threat to the people’s privacy and the privacy of other countries’ members are being infringed on by the NSA by the act of wiretapping. The action of wiretapping violates laws for privacy, like the Bill of Right’s Amendment Four which says “Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and
After the disclosures by Edward Snowden turned a critical eye to the NSA many people questioned the legality of the acts. The NSA claimed that their work was legal and had prevented many terrorist plots. However, evidence of only four plots was ever found. Even if the acts were founded in law, they still angered large numbers of citizens. Many citizens do not care if the spying is legal, believing that it is morally wrong. Government surveillance organizations have grown to be extremely powerful and are capable of accessing large swaths of personal information; these abilities intrude into the private lives of citizens and need to be curtailed.
Edward Snowden’s disclosures have brought to light many secret government actions that were previously unknown. One of the most controversial government programs that Snowden disclosed was how the National Security Agency (NSA) collected virtually every phone record for calls made in the United States between US citizens. It makes sense to monitor phone calls to or from callers located outside the United States, because non-US citizens don 't have the protection of the US Constitution and monitoring these calls also might be helpful in identifying foreigners who might be plotting terrorist attacks in the US. However, US citizens have 4th Amendment privacy rights under the Constitution, so it is much more of a problem when the US government collects bulk information about US citizens who do not pose an obvious danger to the country.
Ever since the American public was made aware of the United States government’s surveillance policies, it has been a hotly debated issue across the nation. In 2013, it was revealed that the NSA had, for some time, been collecting data on American citizens, in terms of everything from their Internet history to their phone records. When the story broke, it was a huge talking point, not only across the country, but also throughout the world. The man who introduced Americans to this idea was Edward Snowden.
The National Security Agency operates the most secretive surveillance in history; however, disclosures have demonstrated the agency to be a rogue state that is out of control. Intelligence leaders have openly lied to elected officials and the public about the nature and extent of the agency’s data collection. Policymakers and intelligence officials have supplied intensive surveillance that secretly monitors everything it can get its claws onto.
Spying on American citizens is now a common method employed by the government striving to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. Nonetheless, since its incorporation, the Act has been controversial as politicians and citizens alike have argued between the need to keep society safe and abusive powers of the government over its citizens. Although, mandated to serve as
In “How the NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Works,” the author reveals that many of “aspects of the (NSA) Program were aimed not just at targeted individuals, but perhaps millions of innocent Americans never suspected of a crime.” The author develops his thesis by detailing a few examples of major telecommunication companies that share customer’s call records to the NSA (AT&T, Sprint) and explaining that programs were implemented to monitor the emails of citizens (“amounted to at least 1.7 billion emails a day”). The author uses examples of how NSA decisions were made without a “warrant or any judicial oversight,” in order to increase citizen awareness of how the NSA functions. The author uses a erudite tone to address the audience of Americans
If the US does not change their viewpoint on spying on innocent citizens lives we might find ourselves in a situation similar to the society present in the novel 1984. Overall, the use of surveillance to control citizens is noticeably present in both 1984 and the present day society as in both cases these governments monitor citizens, turn on those who speak out, and use a paranoia as reasoning to
Privacy is defined by Dictionary.com as “freedom from damaging publicity, public scrutiny, secret surveillance, or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal data or information”. This is something that most people value extremely highly. From everyday civilians to government officials, everybody wants some level of privacy. Many say surveillance technology denies them the right to privacy that they are given at birth as American citizens. However, there should be a small amount of wiggle room when it comes to this technology, in order to protect the country and its people. In “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets”, Peter Singer gives us an insight into privacy in the government. He discusses the
Keeping the United States of America safe from foreign threats is far from an easy task. However, preventing domestic threats is a much more complicated and delicate one. Government organizations such as the National Security Agency [NSA] are known to have invaded our privacy through our connection to technology. The NSA has publicly admitted to the surveillance. Due to media coverage, the NSA is often viewed as the main agency that bulk collects data. Emails, phone calls, and even our text messages have been surveilled under an NSA program known as “PRISM” (“Domestic Surveillance Techniques”). Everyday government organizations invade our privacy for the sake of national security in an attempt to defend us from domestic threats, but it seems they often take surveillance a step too far. United States citizens should understand legality of these actions, as well as the purpose this data collection serves.