The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers. And effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. (Declaration 83) Surveillance is presenting numerous challenges to our right to privacy. The National Security Agency or NSA is amassing private information about Americans.
Hovel par. 3) Emails, phone calls and other forms of communication are being monitored. Unless we the American voters demand of our elected officials that they curtail the unwarranted surveillance by our government on American citizens, the current state of affairs is nothing but a prelude to our Government usurping our liberty of privacy we are likely to descend into a total surveillance state. The first Issue is that the government has been observing both Americans and foreigners for decades, without our knowledge or regulation of anyone.
The NSA was established In 1952; Its existence was not admitted to the American public until 20 years later, and still, its configuration and activity are largely unknown, even to members of congress and government. It is the biggest surveillance agency in the world. (Mainsails, Berger and Greenland par. 8) In the sass, extreme far-reaching disclosures about the NSA led to senate hearings, which revealed stunning transgressions, with assassination plots, illegal mail opening, massive military spying. (Hovel par. 10) In 1975, Democratic US Senator and former NSA employee Frank
Church alerted us that the Ana’s extending reach could be turned inwards on the American people. “l don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. ” He said, “l know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to It that this agency (the NSA) and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That Is the abyss from which there Is no return. ” (CTD. In Mainsails, Berger and Greenland par. 13) The congressional hearings led to the 1978 Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISH), which required a warrant to conduct surveillance of communications within the US. A FISH court, that was made up of a small group of judges appointed by the chief justice and located inside in the Justice department, FISH was given the Job of deciding whether to grant warrants ” It approves almost all requests (Mainsails, Berger and Greenland par. 12) Second, the unlawful surveillance, the violations of our 4th Amendment and the “culture of Intense secrecy’ (Mainsails, Berger and Greenland par-17) continue thou updated regulations to keep up with changing technology.
Since 9/1 1, The t Off established by FISH, it has collected phone records of and private information about Americans, drawing data from phone companies. These records admittedly give them the ability to track the associations and the activities of anyone whom the agency chooses to target. (Hovel par. 3) As we improve with technology, the Ana’s capacity to capture a surprising assortment and quantity of communications has progressed as well. -Satellites scoop up calls and emails in the ether and beam the information sack to earthbound receiving stations.
One estimate suggests that each of these bases Hoovers up roughly one billion emails, phone calls and other forms of correspondence every day, and the agency has up to 20 bases. (Mainsails, Berger and Greenland) Privacy experts and attorneys urged Congress to update laws governing protections for wireless customers’ location data in criminal investigations, testifying on Capitol Hill that there is confusion among federal courts and other practical complications. (Ruggeri par. 1] Third, the right of privacy, speech and free association is guaranteed to every tizzy in the United States.
Our Constitution is premised on controlling government involvement to protect liberty. The state can intrude on that space only if it has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, and only when an impartial official reviews the evidence of that cause. The national security state, particularly in this age of an unending “war” on terrorists in every corner of the world, upsets that premise. In the name of security, our government claims the right to investigate citizens, monitor their activities and know their secrets.
On the other hand, the nation’s activities, capacities, budgets and even legal authority are secret, closed from public review, to the extent that when Congress provides supervision, it is limited to selected legislators who are sworn to uphold the curtain of secrecy even from their colleagues. Their concerns may be expressed only to officials, not to the American deters. (Hovel par. 8;9) Fourth, confessions of the sweeping collection of data on Americans by the NSA necessitate that Congress launch a review into the post- 9/1 1 national security state.
Special committees in both the House and the Senate should investigate the scope of activities, the legal basis claimed, the operational structure and the abuses and excesses with a public weighing of costs and benefits. The “war on terrorism” has gone on since 2001 , and while our “Commander in Chief” says it must end sometime, there is no end in sight. In 2005,the New York Times reported that the Bush administration had secretly authorized by an order in 2002 for the NSA to spy on Americans and others inside the US, to explore for terrorist activity without the FISH rout warrants. Mainsails, Berger and Greenland par. 6) Secret bureaucracies armed with secret powers and emboldened by the claim of defending the nation have flourished and expanded. The surprise of legislators at the scope of NSA surveillance shows that checks and balances have broken down. (Hovel par. 1;2) The attempts to reform the national security state in the mid-ass offer concerns for today. Too many of the reforms acted to legitimate the Ana’s endeavors rather than eliminate them. The FISH court, for example, has provided less restriction allied to account, Congress must look to draw sharp limits. Hovel par. 12) Our right to privacy is being violated and we do not know what our government is doing with the surveillance data. We know that the NSA is collecting our information Introit probable cause and yet we do not know what is being done with it. We need to require our elected officials to defend the constitution that they swore to do when they took office. Unless we the American people stand up united, and elect officials to represent us and will limit this indiscretion, we will become a total surveillance state.