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National Security Agency

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National Security Agency
20160110 091548
Seal of the National Security Agency
Formed: November 4, 1952
Motto: "Defending Our Nation. Securing The Future."
Employees Classified (30,000–40,000 estimate)

The National Security Agency (NSA) is an American organization that supposedly safeguards secutity. The NSA was accused of snooping on ordinary Americans far more than the Constitution of the United States allows. [1] Even Congress had trouble finding out exactly what the NSA is doing. [2]

OriginEdit

The NSA has existed for a long time.  Mass surveillance, however, began after 9/11, the whole country was panicking.  Dubya decided that, in order to prevent terrorism, the U.S. should go to War with Afghanistan, make people take off their shoes at airports; and spy on terrorists.  The problem was, anybody could be a terrorist.  Eventually, Congress passed ammendments to FISA that said bulk collection could take place whenever the top-secret surveillance court gave the OK[3].  All the judges on the court were appointed by the Cheif Justice of the Supreme Court without any other body confirming them.  As a result, most of them were appointed by John Roberts, who picked people who supported surveillance.[4].

Edward SnowdenEdit

Before Edward Snowden leaked information about these programs, NSA director James Clapper testified before Congress.  The awesome Democratic Senator from Oregon named Ron Wyden asked if the NSA was spying on Americans.  Clapper said they weren't, which probably should have been Politifact's Lie of the Year.  So far, Clapper's act of perjury has not been prosecuted.

Edward Snowden has told us, that the NSA's is currently collecting data on everything from your phone metadata to your browsing history to the contents of some people's telephone calls (if you called somebody who called somebody who called a terrorist, you're out of luck. And chances are that you did call somebody who called somebody who called a terrorist). There's also a program called TAO where NSA agents take computers out of their pacakaging, install software, and then replace the packaging so that nobody can tell that it's been tamperred with.  The software allows the NSA to hack into your computer, read your documents, and turn on your webcam (Use ducktape.  It always works).   The NSA has also used radio waves to install spyware into some computers, including unwittingly when the user connects a flash drive to the computer, although there's no knowledge of this being used on Americans [5] non Americans must be uneasy.  So far, at least we haven't found out everything.   There's probably more that's not been leaked yet.

We just found out that the NSA is tracking the data from our smartphone apps.  All we can say now is surprise, surprise.

As soon as Edward Snowden leaked data, outrage ensued.  The Amash Amendment, which would have stripped the NSA of its funding, barely failed in Congress, 217-205. 

Minor changes and worseningEdit

Barack Obama announced reforms to lessen surveillance, although they were minor: your phone data will still be collected, just by a private corporation who can now sell ads to you.  The data will still be accessible by the government without you knowing.

There are numerous bills pending in Congress that deal with these things.  Most of them will help.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Will Court Beat Back NSA's Police State Desires? Metadata collection as Fourth Amendment violation
  2. Today I Briefed Congress on the NSA
  3. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-declassifies-more-docs-on-origins-of-nsa-surveillance/
  4. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/politics/robertss-picks-reshaping-secret-surveillance-court.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/15/the-switchboard-the-nsa-can-use-radio-waves-to-get-into-offline-computers/

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