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Questions about the NSA - Research Paper Example

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Summary
The USA Patriot Act’s section 215 gives permission to the government to access specific business records for use in national security investigations. This, however, has to be approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court). Also, the Foreign Intelligence…
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Questions about the NSA

Download file to see previous pages... These include e-mailing and telephone addresses used in communication and the dates and times of the communications. However, the programs do not give permission to collection of the content of the e-mails or calls themselves (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
It is worth noting that although a huge amount of the information is collected, a vast majority of it does not usually get reviewed. This is because of the unresponsive nature of the information toward the limited queries authorized for purposes of intelligence. These programs are also subjected to extensive regimes of internal checks, more so for U.S persons and are monitored by the FISA court together with the congress.
Therefore, NSA bulk collection programs are important tools in fighting against terrorism, they are greatly helpful in identification of terrorist plots aiming the homeland. The tools have the uniqueness of producing intelligence that is otherwise not available to the NSA.
During the time before the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, the NSA failed to establish that a call made by one of the persons involved in the attack, one al-Mihdhar, was in fact originating from San Diego, California. Instead, despite intercepting and transcribing the calls, NSA could not get to know al-Mihdhar’s calling location, leading to the conclusion that he was overseas. It is because of this that programs were developed to close such gaps that allow individuals like al-Mihdhar to go undetected while communicating, in fact while in the United States, during plotting of terror attacks.
One such program operates under the FISA Court authority and which is pursuant to FISA’s “business records” authority, which has a common reference as “Section 215”. Together with similar programs in operation pursuant to FISA, and including exercising of trap/pen authorities, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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