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Edward Snowden and Classified Files

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Edward Snowden was an American computer specialist that worked for the CIA and as a contractor for the NSA. He disclosed classified files over several media sources, that were evidence that the NSA was collecting data from the phone calls and internet activities of most Americans. Snowden thought that by revealing these secret government activities that Americans would realized that their privacy is being invaded and that they need to do something about it.
President Obama insisted that the government is not invading privacy but is just looking for potential terrorist activities that can be thwarted by preemptive measures. Even after this statement by the President there are those who speculate that the government is "snooping" into their lives and monitoring their internet activity. Although there is this paranoia that the government is "watching", it may actually make people more aware of what they do on their computers and cause them to practice safer internet browsing techniques.
The legal justification for the collecting of this data is Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which authorizes the government to collect domestic phone records. Section 215 expanded the extent of what could be collected and lowered the standards required to do so. The information that can be collected specifically from phone companies is the number of and length of calls made, but not what the contents of the calls is. There was also an amendment to this section that required law enforcement to have "reasonable suspicion" of terrorist activities before requesting data.

The Attorney General gives authorization for investigation in three levels, "assessment, preliminary investigation, and full investigation. For a preliminary inv...

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...t time such searches have been confirmed. The confirmation of these NSA searches on Americans’ communications also increased the difficulty of President Barack Obama’s initial defense of the wide surveillance that occurred in 2013.
It was reassured from the Department of Justice that any searches made under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, data will be used in compliance with guidelines and procedures, and it does not provide a way to get around the requirement of a court order before targeting any U.S. citizen under the FISA. A considerable amount of the NSA's bulk data collection is actually substantiated under section 702. This gives permission for the collection of communications without an individual warrant for each case, as long as there is a reasonable belief that the communications are both foreign and in another nation.
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