Surveillance Under The Bush Administration Essay

Surveillance Under The Bush Administration Essay

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Under the last couple of years America has withstand a very watchful eye from the government. Phone calls, e-mails, and even physical searches, have all been collected and done in numbers never seen before. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was established solely to prevent the government from getting out of hand with surveillance, especially the surveillance of innocent American people. However, after the attacks of 9/11 things changed drastically; and although FISA was enacted, President Bush changed the entire outlook on “foreign” intelligence surveillance that would soon lead to question if Americans really do have any privacy in their own country.
Before we get into how the 43rd President of the United States changed the rules of foreign intelligence surveillance, it is necessary to understand what exactly FISA is to comprehend how it was dramatically changed from the time it was enacted to the period when Bush was in office. In the 1970’s the American people learned that the government was abusing national security authorities, such as “eavesdropping on Vietnam War Protestors and civil rights activists.” See before 1978 warrantless electronic surveillance for national security reasons were sanctioned by the President, there was no higher authority that the President had to heed to. Therefore after the Watergate Scandal it became obvious that something needed to be established to prevent the President or officials to abuse such powers against innocent individuals. Hence, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted by Congress in 1978.
FISA creates rules and guidelines to prevent a U.S. citizen or legal alien resident to be under surveillance without probable cause. For example, according to a p...


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...James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts." The New
York Times. December 16, 2005. Accessed April 25, 2014. http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2005%2F12%2F16%2Fwashington%2F16program.html%3Fpagewanted%3D1%26ref%3Dforeignintelligencesurveillanceactfisa.

Savage, Charlie, and Laura Poitras. "How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’
Reach." The New York Times. March 11, 2014. Accessed April 28, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/us/how-a-courts-secret-evolution-extended-spies-//reach.html?ref=foreignintelligencesurveillanceactfisa.

Savage, Charlie. "Letter Tells of U.S. Searches for Emails and Calls." The New York Times.
April 01, 2014. Accessed April 28, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/us/politics/letter-puts-focus-on-us-searches-for-//americans-emails-and-calls.html?ref=foreignintelligencesurveillanceactfisa.



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