Nsa Surveillance Program Essay

2180 words - 9 pages

NSA Surveillance Program
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was created in 1978 as a response to past presidential abuses of massive domestic wiretapping and surveillance that were conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) on many innocent Americans. FISA was designated to limit warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance for national security purposes and to issue the extent to which NSA could seize domestic communications. An executive power would need a warrant approved by FISA and only for the cases where the sole intention for the surveillance was to obtain foreign intelligence information (Skalski 15). ...view middle of the document...

However, based on multiple credible sources in my research and the deep criticism of more and more people about it since successive revelations came to light starting with 2013, I find the NSA program to be unconstitutional because it violates the civil liberties of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution: the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home. Correspondingly, I find the NSA program to be unconstitutional because it violates the strict and limited rules imposed by FISA on warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance. Equally important, I consider the massive surveillance program unconstitutional because it is based on a misinterpretation of the AUMF Act passed by Congress on September 2001. Finally, I find the widespread wiretapping program to be unconstitutional because it causes a “chilling effect” on communication due to the public’s fear of surveillance.
I strongly think that the NSA program is unconstitutional based on the fact that it violates the rules inflicted by FISA on warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance, and because it violates the protection of the Fourth Amendment of all US citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring a warrant before any federal agency can search and seize any citizen. FISA states clearly that an executive power would need a warrant approved by its court and only for the cases where the sole ”purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information” (Skalsky 15). If FISA approves a request, there is a judicial form that must be completed and must specify the identity of the target, the location and the type of establishment placed under surveillance, the type of communication monitored, and the period of time approved for the surveillance. Moreover, section 1809 of FISA act says, “ it is a crime to collect electronic surveillance beyond the scope of this exclusive means […] when Congress declares war, the president shall have fifteen days to conduct warrantless wiretapping, but fifteen days and no longer, if he does not come to us and ask for further authority” (Cole 512). By secretly authorizing the massive wiretapping of all Americans without asking for FISA permission and its warrants, President Bush and his Administration clearly violated the rules inflicted by FISA. Sadly, President Obama makes constant efforts to keep the NSA program in secrecy by using the state secrets privilege to block the disclosure of information about NSA on the premises of endangering national security, and he relies greatly on such surveillance against Al Qaeda terrorist group.
Another reason that I find the NSA surveillance program to be unconstitutional is the violation of the Fourth Amendment right of all Americans to feel safe in their homes and to feel free from unreasonable searches and seizures of their homes. Collecting metadata on every American without any valid link to a terrorist group and without any...

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