Homeland Security and FISA Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:


Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 there has been a significant effort to protect America from any further terrorist attacks. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the U.S. National Security Agency's ability to identify and monitor the communications of terrorists and prevent terrorism from occuring. The research will also investigate how the implications of employing these techniques for foreign intelligence surveillance suggests that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("FISA") is inadequate in addressing recent technological developments. These developments include the transition from circuit-based to packet-based communications; the globalization of communications infrastructure; and the development of automated monitoring techniques, including data mining and traffic analysis. The research will also focus on how FISA is challenged by technological developments.

The Monitoring of Communications

The National Security agency was created to "protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information." The strategic plan of the agency is to control cryptology throughout the world; maintain a network of systems, sensors, information and people throughout the world, ensure the safety of America's security systems and to advantageously utilize relationships with academia, industry, foreign partners and government (NSA/CSS Strategic Plan, 2009).

One of the ways in which the National security agency is able to carry out the aforementioned responsibilities is to monitor communications and identify terrorists before they commit terrorist crimes. The NSA has the ability to monitor both public and private comminications. This includes telephones, internet communications, mobile phones. The U.S. National Security Agency was supported greatly by the Bush administration as it pertained to having the ability to monitor communication amongst terrorists throughout the world.

In recent years the NSA has endured a great deal of controversy. This controversy existed because the monitoring of communications by the agency has changed over the years to include a greater amount of surveillance of domestic communications. Not only was it changed, but the Bush administration did not make American's aware of such changes until some three years after the changes went into effect.

An article in the New York Times published in 2008 explains,

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court- approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications (Risen, 2005)."

The controversy over increased use of domestic spying without warrants has sparked a great deal of debate about such surveillance as a violation of civil liberties as it pertains to undue searches. However, many in within the agency and the Bush administration contend that the ability to conduct such surveillance has aided in the ability of the agency to keep the country safe. In addtion the government has argued that such surveillance allows law enforcement agencies to prevent terrorists attacks before they occur.

The adequacy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) FISA was developed after the Watergate debauchery. It was initially designed to establish the manner in which the United States government was allowed to gather communications in America and abroad (Bill to Amend FISA). The act was also originally passed to permit the government to gather foreign intelligence information including communications with "agents of foreign powers (The Foreign Intelligence Act)."

Since the inception of the act there have been amendments to the act. One such amendment was signed by President Bush in July of 2008. The amendment lessened even further the role of judicial oversight as it pertains to surveillance. This amendment is in stark contrast to the original act in which judicial oversight was a key component. In addition this amendment also absolved telecommunications companies of any legal responsibility for allowing the government to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Advances in Technology and FISA

Although the NSA and FISA seems to be adequate and even relentless in the desire to gather communications, there are also problems related to FISA…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Homeland Security And FISA" (2009, March 08) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/homeland-security-and-fisa-24170

"Homeland Security And FISA" 08 March 2009. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/homeland-security-and-fisa-24170>

"Homeland Security And FISA", 08 March 2009, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/homeland-security-and-fisa-24170

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Homeland Security and the Privacy of the Citizens

    Patriot Act also has the ability to strip the American public of their basic rights to privacy. The Patriot Act allows easy access to financial records, pen registers and trap-trace devices could be installed on personal computers and telephones, and student records can be accessed without consent of the school (Unpatriotic Acts). These unregulated powers are guaranteed by the Patriot Act in three amendments. These three amendments include the

  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act FISA 1978 Antiterrorism

    Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) 1978, Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Acts of Terror There are a number of similarities and points of interest between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 FISA, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act of 2001. Collectively, these acts make it exceedingly difficult for those involved in acts of terrorism to operate and, when caught, to get any sort

  • Counter Terrorism and Social Media Freedom vs Security

    Counter-Terrorism and Social Media: Freedom vs. Security The United States prides itself to being the most democratic nation of the world, with the highest respect for the human being, for its values, norms, and dreams. At the same time, before 9/11, it was also considered to be one of the safest nations of the world. The attacks on the World Trade Center towers, in particular pointed out that there are gaps

  • Domestic Terrorism Cause and Prevention

    Domestic Terrorism The Al-Qaeda group is probably the most popular terrorist group known this century for their very high-profile attacks; their most bold move was the destruction of the World Trade Center, now known today as 911, or September 11th. These motives are said to be of the religious sort, however there are arguments when it comes to the validity of these claims, as it may come off as to discriminate

  • Intelligence Pathologies the Church Committee

    The Church Committee concluded that these activities made the intelligence community a secret government that was illegal, unethical, and improper and did not reflect the people or the nation of America. Secret intelligence actions were used to disrupt, harass, and destroy domestic law-abiding citizens and groups. At the time, people were spied on with excessive intrusion with the methods being illegal. In addition, the intelligence agencies carried out secret infiltration

  • Terrorist Organizations Exploitable Weakness in

    Alien Absconder Apprehension Initiative The goal of the alien absconder apprehension initiative was basically to increase intelligence opportunity by interrogating middle easterners. The goal was partially attained as many Arab descent people in the U.S. were detained and deported as an implication of the Alien Absconder Apprehension initiative. Within a time span of one to two years, almost 1300 fugitives were detained and deported due to which the likelihood of crime

  • Is the U S Patriot Act Constitutional

    Patriot Act Homeland Security Act 21st Century form foundation United States' domestic response terrorist attacks September 11, 2001. Many legal political voices advocated acts resulted a reduction rights citizens a loss civil liberties. The Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act: Are they a violation of our constitutional rights? According to the U.S. government, the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act gave the government the necessary tools to investigate acts of

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved