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The Unconstitutionality Of The Nsa Essay

2276 words - 10 pages

This paper’s focus is to enlighten the reader upon the actions undertaken by part of the National Security Agency concerning its activities dealing with espionage and mass surveillance of United States citizens and foreign officials of our allied countries. It will be the purpose of this paper to inform the reader on how these activities are a blatant violation of Constitutional rights, foreign law, and the personal rights of every citizen of the United States and how these activities should be stopped on the basis that they are wrong, unfounded, unconstitutional, and go against the very orders and directives that the NSA has been given.
The National Security Agency, or NSA for short, is a ...view middle of the document...

The NSA then provides the information to the agency, government officials, or persons that requested the information. (SIGINT) This intelligence is obtained through the use of various programs, such as ECHELON and PRISM, which are involved with the collection and monitoring of mass cellular networks communication and monitoring major internet services/servers/pages, respectively. (Q&A) (Kelley) Recently the NSA has come under public and political scrutiny after it was revealed that the means by which they obtained their information was, to say the least, questionable. Recent controversies regarding the NSA, such as the Snowden incident and the Al-Haramain lawsuit, have given us an insight into how the NSA operates and how the actions they take violate every American citizen’s constitutional Rights. (Fisher)
Rights such as those established in the Fourth Constitutional Amendment; this Amendment states that it is “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." (Timeline) This means that for any constitutional matter regarding an individual, and that individual’s expectation to a degree of privacy, legal procedures, such as search and seizure of personal material, require that an official warrant for those materials has been issued by the government and supported by a judge. (Donohue) Yet recent information, leaked from the NSA, evidences that this agency been collecting information on United States citizens without issuing an official warrant or informing the public of having conducted such activities. When the NSA desires to commence an investigation on a target, be it a single person or a terrorist cell, it must first ask permission to initiate the operation of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court. This secretive court has the obligation to examine the case and decide to whether or not approve it; this court is notorious for its acceptance rates since in the past 5 years only two out of a total of 8,600 applications have been denied. (Donohue) Under section 215 of FISA it is stated that the NSA may not collect information on a United States citizen inside the country or abroad. (Section 702) In 2013 President Barack Hussein Obama made an official statement in which he assured that the program PRISM did not apply by any means on a United Sates Citizens, but later in June leaked information about Stellar Wind, a data mining program that mined internet data and collected bulk email records, one of the first major scandals concerning the NSA. (Fallout) Contrasting the activities and the functions of the two main surveillance tools that the NSA utilizes to monitor telecommunications [program ECHELON] and the main pipelines of the internet [program...

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