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The Snowden Effect: Examining the Legal, Policy, and Political Implications of the Revelations about the NSA Bulk Collection Metadata Program

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Edward Snowden's publishing classified information about the existence of the Section 215 bulk collection metadata program set in motion the largest debate about potential abuse in by spying agencies since

Edward Snowden's publishing classified information about the existence of the Section 215 bulk collection metadata program set in motion the largest debate about potential abuse in by spying agencies since the Watergate Scandal in the 1970's. This paper will examine the metadata program by: First, the relevant background which includes the establishment of the 20th century intelligence community, intelligence reforms in the wake of the Watergate scandal, and the changes stemming from the 9/11 attacks. Second, the Section 215 metadata program itself will be discussed, including its lawfulness. Third and finally, an analysis of potential reforms will be discussed, including ones advanced by government commissions. Ultimately, the Section 215 program has demonstrated compelling legal authority, positive benefits to national security, and a minimal need for reform. This conclusion is based on the program being consistent with the legal spirit of the Watergate Reforms, the language of the post-9/11 laws, the nature of the program, and the robust oversight protocols imposed upon the program.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Does the Supreme Court know what's best for us?: potential mediators of public support for three surveillance techniques

Description

Very little experimental work has been done to investigate the psychological underpinnings of perceptions of privacy. This issue is especially pressing with the advent of powerful and inexpensive technologies that

Very little experimental work has been done to investigate the psychological underpinnings of perceptions of privacy. This issue is especially pressing with the advent of powerful and inexpensive technologies that allow access to all but our most private thoughts -and these too are at risk (Farah, Smith, Gawuga, Lindsell, &Foster;, 2009). Recently the Supreme Court ruled that the use of a global positioning system (GPS) device to covertly follow a criminal suspect, without first obtaining a search warrant, is a violation of a suspect's fourth amendment right to protection from unlawful search and seizure (United States v. Jones, 2012). However, the Court has also ruled in the past that a law enforcement officer can covertly follow a suspect's vehicle and collect the same information without a search warrant and this is not considered a violation of the suspect's rights (Katz v. United States). In the case of GPS surveillance the Supreme Court Justices did not agree on whether the GPS device constituted a trespassing violation because it was placed on the suspect's vehicle (the majority) or if it violated a person's reasonable expectation of privacy. This incongruence is an example of how the absence of a clear and predictable model of privacy makes it difficult for even the country's highest moral authority to articulate when and why privacy has been violated. This research investigated whether public perceptions of support for the use of each surveillance technique also vary across different monitoring types that collect the same information and whether these differences are mediated by similar factors as argued by the Supreme Court. Results suggest that under some circumstances participants do demonstrate differential support and this is mediated by a general privacy concern. However, under other circumstances differential support is the result of an interaction between the type of monitoring and its cost to employ -not simply type; this differential support was mediated by both perceived violations of private-space and general privacy. Results are discussed in terms of how these findings might contribute to understanding the psychological foundation of perceived privacy violations and how they might inform policy decision.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012