National Security Agency, Privacy and Security for American Citizens Essay

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The National Security Agency was established in 1952 from the National Security Council for the purposes of intercepting foreign radio communications (Howe, p 11). Since, the NSA has been one of the most secretive institutions within the intelligence community. However, recent events have focused on the NSA’s domestic surveillance, encouraging a debate between security and privacy.
In 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted for the purposes of outlining protocol for collection of foreign intelligence using electronic surveillance of communications or persons (Brazen, p 2). In 2007, the Act was amended to include the Protect America Act, stating that the National Security Agency had the right to monitor electronic communications between people on U.S. soil, if believed to be a threat, without court supervision (Nakashima and Warrick). The Protect America Act expired after 2007, and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was signed into law. This amendment included immunity to telecommunications providers for complying with orders to provide information to the NSA (Lichtblau). The program PRISM, was then adopted by the NSA. This program collects and stores internet communications that are provided by telecommunications companies under the FISA Amendment Act of 2008 (Gellman and Poitras). This information is stored as metadata, or specific details about a communication, such as the location, time, or date, a phone call or e-mail was sent (A Guardian Guide to Metadata).
In May of 2013 Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong to meet with journalists to disclose what he, and the NSA, had been doing. Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA, had been working with the NSA, and various other companies i...

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...g key intelligence. The most viable option for reform is the USA Freedom Act.
The recommendation of this research is to vote in favor of the USA Freedom Act. As a representative, voting in favor of this bill serves the public interest and the interests of your constituents. One of the abuses of the Patriot Act occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the owner of two clubs in Las Vegas, was prosecuted unfairly under statutes of the Patriot Act (ACLU). The constituents of Nevada deserve privacy and security, and voting in favor of the USA Freedom Act will ensure that.
American’s right privacy continues to need protection, and intelligence continues to need to be collected to protect America’s security. The USA Freedom Act finds a balance between these two fundamental needs. Voting in favor of this Act is a step to protect America’s interests, both at home, and abroad.

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