Essay about The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Death of Privacy

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Privacy — at first glance, most people see this word as describing one’s right to be free from observation and disturbance by others; however, upon further examination it means much more. According to author Dylan Love of the Business Insider, this word in itself is one of hundreds that flag you as a potential terrorist when typed it in an email. Perhaps this comes as no surprise since citizens of the United States have seen an increasing presence of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the media and their daily lives. The NSA is a subsection of the US government chartered to help protect US national security by producing intelligence information and providing it to the US government. But the methods by which the NSA obtains this intelligence and the levels to which the NSA looks into our personal lives are controversial. In 2009 the National Security Council (NSC) published a cyberspace policy review, which focused on how the government was to protect and promote US security through cyberspace. An important part of the document lays out four key ideas that the US government feels any cyberspace policy should have: governance, architecture, norms of behavior, and capacity building. I will be closely examining each of these key ideas to show how current NSA policies and actions do not coincide NSC policy.

The first idea presented in the policy review is governance. According to the NSC,
governance is the idea that a cyberspace policy must make sure that various departments of the government will work with one another when in a cyberspace mission (B-5). To determine if this principle is currently implemented by the NSA, one can look to the NSA’s metadata collection process. Authors Ewen Macaskill and Gabriel Dance, of The G...

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... Gabriel Dance. "NSA Files Decoded: Edward Snowden's Surveillance
Revelations Explained." The Guardian. The Guardian News and Media Limited, 1 Nov.
2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

Mitchell, Andrea, and Erin McClam. “US Coping with Furious Allies as NSA Spying
Revelations Grow.” NBC. National Broadcasting Company, 8 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Nov.

United States. Executive Office of the President. Recent Changes Cyberspace Policy Review: Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure. N.p., 29 May 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

United States. Government. Administration White Paper Bulk Collection of Telephony Metadata Under Section 215 of The USA Patriot Act. N.p., 09 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

“Welcome to the National Security Agency.” National Security Agency. Central Security
Service, 15 June 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.

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