Domestic Surveillance

1438 Words6 Pages
The Need for NSA Domestic surveillance plays a vital role in maintaining the country’s national security, and to reassure the citizens that they are properly protected from foreign and domestic attacks. The National Security Agency monitors Americans and other individuals around the world, who may be considered to be potential threats to the United States, and therefore bringing the nation under a state of emergency. The NSA is a subtle and yet legitimate way of preventing attacks against the United States, as the agency is governed by a particular set of legal rules in which they are permitted to exercise their powers in the benefit of the nation’s well being. The professional surveillance carried out by the NSA is an integral part of the…show more content…
Executive order 12333 issued by President Ronald Reagan, found in the U.S. National Archives, stated that “timely and accurate information about the activities, capabilities, plans, and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons and their agents, is essential to the national security of the United States. All reasonable and lawful means must be used to ensure that the United States will receive the best intelligence available.” The rationale behind the executive order was to ensure that the United States, through the operation of the NSA and within reasonable legal bounds, have power to keep the nation’s interests protected from harmful foreign and domestic intrusions and attacks. The executive order clearly stipulated that the collection of such information must be conducted within legal bounds and reasonable means, therefore reinforcing the core notion of compliance to the law, and that no one person or agency had the power to act beyond it. Though it is true that, under the program, the government is able to acquire a large volume of business records containing telephony metadata, but according to the Justice Department, it is consistent with the governing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders, which authorizes the program to use and analyze the information only under highly restricted circumstances. The NSA’s grant is renewed on an annual basis, and has been for the last 30 years. This annual renewal process clearly indicates that there is support from the Senate and also from the Judiciary for the NSA to continue in its actions. It has been argued that the NSA actions have violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, and the American’s
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