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NSA Surveillance Broader than Previously Thought
The National Security Agency has power to carry out surveillance on more than 75% of U.S. Internet traffic. The NSA has a system that uses algorithm-based programs that filter communications with help from telecommunications companies. The NSA looks for communications that start or end overseas, just passing through the U.S. in between other countries, according to Fox News.
Some worry that mostly domestic communications will be intercepted in the search for foreign ones. Critics worry about civil liberties going the way of the dinosaur. The NSA defended its program and commented, “NSA’s signals intelligence mission is centered on defeating foreign adversaries who aim to harm the country. We defend the United States from such threats while fiercely working to protect the privacy rights of U.S. persons. It’s not either/or. It’s both.”
After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, the algorithms use a wider net to try and capture intelligence. Members of Congress and other authorities have recently tried to defend the agency and try to help people understand its role in defending our country against terrorism. Critics feel that citizens won’t have privacy anymore and that the agency has overstepped its boundaries.
This program is not the same one that involved the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked information about it earlier this summer. Snowden mentioned the program PRISM, and discussed acquiring phone records. The Internet monitoring system in this specific case is widespread and can “track an online activity, so long as it is covered by a broad court order.”