The Controversy Over U.S. Domestic Surveillance

1391 Words Feb 21st, 2018 6 Pages
Congress began to pass legislation that would strengthen the United State’s counterterrorism efforts. Less than a month after the horrific attack, the National Security Agency (NSA) started a “special collection program” with intentions to track communications among suspected terrorists and Al Qaeda leaders. Then on October 4, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the NSA to monitor domestic communications in order to track down suspected terrorists. Two problems shortly arose from Bush’s decision: the fact that his authorization to NSA was carried out in secret and also that monitoring the domestic communications was done without a warrant. This proved to be illegal since the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act states that the government is prohibited from eavesdropping inside the United States without first getting a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court). In order to counteract the issues he had caused, on October 26, 2001 Bush signed the Patriot Act; a law that would expand the government’s electronic surveillance powers. After signing this law Bush stated, “The existing law was written in the era of rotary telephones. This new law that I sign today will allow surveillance of all communications used by terrorists, including emails, the…