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Covert government surveillance



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  • 2. Fourth Amendment  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • 3. Why The Fourth Amendment Was Added To The Constitution  Before the American Revolution English agents could enter any colonist’s house or building to look for prohibited goods without probable cause.  Our forefathers wanted to protect it’s citizens from its newly formed government and put the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures in the Bill of Rights .
  • 4. Wiretapping  Started 1890  New York made it a felony in 1892  Police ignored law and continued wire tapping listening to private conversations  Popular for catching bootleggers 1919-1933  In 1934 the U.S. Congress Passed Federal Communications Act making warrantless wiretapping illegal  FBI Continued wire tapping despite ruling and is still done today
  • 5. Bugs  FBI tried using bugs to get around law which is a hidden microphone used for surveillance  Tried placing a bug outside phone booth thinking it did not intrude into the booth  Supreme court ruled the Fourth Amendment protected people not places so bugging is illegal also.
  • 6. Operation Shamrock  Government illegally censored all messages entering and leaving country from foreign governments  Started duringWorldWar II  NSA took over in 1952  Transition from telegram to computers allowed for key word and phrase search  Became useful for monitoring governmental concerns among foreign nations and U.S. civilians (Cuba,Vietnam,War on Drugs).  Ended in 1975 after Congressional and press scrutiny
  • 7. Carnivore Surveillance System  Developed by FBI in 1990 to monitor Internet traffic  With a search warrant it was set up at the suspect’s internet service provider to detect and record packets  FBI forced an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to allow them to use it without a warrant and it was upheld by the U.S. District Court  FBI replaced it in 2001 with a commercial software that could perform the same function
  • 8. After 9/11  2002 CIA captured several al-Qaeda members along with their computers and cell phones  This allowed NSA to eavesdrop without a warrant and disrupt future terrorist attacks  List grew to 500 inside USA, including US citizens, and 5000 to 7000 outside USA  2010 Federal District Court in San Francisco rules warrantless wiretapping illegal  Still under appeal by Obama administration
  • 9. TALON Database  Created in 2003 by Department of Defense  Database of reports of suspicious activities near military bases  2005 NBC News found anti-war protesters and college students protesting on-campus military recruiting were added to the data base  Department of Defense removed many of these reports after an in-house review  TALON was shut down September 17, 2007
  • 10. Covert Government Activities Today  Andrew Snowden a contractor working for NSA recently released information that the NSA is using secret surveillance against the American public  All electronic communication from anyone in the country can be intercepted, stored, and retrieved by NSA  Snowden a junior employee who didn’t even work directly for the federal government had access to this information
  • 11. Terrorists Activities Continue  Despite covert government surveillance terrorists activities continue in the US and around the world  The bombing of the Boston Marathon April 15, 2003 using two pressure cooker bombs  3 people died and 264 others were injured  Two brothers of Chechen origin are convicted of committing the attacks  They were caught because of camera surveillance at the scene
  • 12. Safety VS Privacy  Where do we draw the line between our right to privacy and our safety  Citizens want their right to privacy, but they also want the government to ensure their safety and security  Covert government surveillance has been around since the 1890’s and continues to this day  We need to find common ground between surveillance accountability and our privacy
  • 13. References  Boston MarathonTerror Attack Fast Facts. (2013, July 11).CNN, Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/us/boston-marathon-terror-attack-fast-facts/  Daniel Ellsberg:Snowden's NSA LeakWas Heroic, Historic. (n.d.).Justice Integrity Project, Retrieved from http://www.justice-integrity.org/faq/490-daniel-ellsberg-snowden-s-nsa- leak-was-heroic-historic  Quinn, M. J. (Ed.). (2013).Ethics ForThe Information Age(5 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: