NSA Surveillance: The Limits of Government Surveillance

Annotated Bibliography: NSA Surveillance

  • Swire P. Peter , Richard A. Clarke, Michael J. Morell, Geoffrey R. Stone, And Cass R. Sunstein . " Protecting Citizens, And Their Privacy."Protecting Citizens, And Their Privacy 2 (2013): N.P. Print.

Surveillance is an essential element for a nation that faces major threats especially from other nations. The USA has effective surveillance in order to ensure that safety is guaranteed for all citizens. Five authors seek to establish the boundary of surveillance in the community since the privacy and civil independence of individuals is also essential. The authors of this text focus on highlighting recommendations to the president. This recommendations aim at suggesting amendments that will assist the intelligence community to continue doing their work, which entails protecting Americans and their friends while establishing values that ensure Americans enjoy their freedom.


This annotated bibliography is essential for this study since it highlights the limits of the US government surveillance according to suggestions of these five scholars. The authors highlight that the state should end its domestic program that entails the storage of telephone metadata that might violate the privacy of any individual. The authors suggest that the metadata should only be used when there is a court order and it is stored by private companies. This text also recommends that the state should not intrude into personal domains to access private data such as bank, telephone and credit card records. In addition, Americans should have transparency where all the private sectors should be capable of disclosing to the public every government request of their private information. All communications between Americans and non-Americans should not be captured and every American in other countries should be under surveillance only for the benefit of the safety of the county and not to steal trade secrets for domestic companies.

The authors also recommend that the state should protect the nation against surveillance of citizens from other countries, and in case there is a foreign intelligence surveillance court the state should ensure transparency and a legitimate process when dealing with sensitive intelligence requests. This text is different from articles in this topic since it gives direct recommendation to the President. The authors suggest that the Congress should focus on developing an autonomous civil liberties and privacy protection body that will constantly review all activities relating to foreign surveillance. Lastly, the authors suggest that the government should ensure internet freedom is granted and reforms to ensure that insider threats are dealt with where relevant parties should access the needed information. All this recommendations aim at striking a balance between the privacy of the individuals and government intelligence surveillance.

  • “Where to Draw the Line on Government Surveillance." Maclean's 126.24 (2013): 1. Academic Search Premier. 

Americans are aware that they are always being watched since they have accepted camera surveillance everywhere in the state. Individuals volunteer their information to Google, Facebook and other websites in order to trade and perform certain activities that interest them not knowing that the US government collects all this information including cell phone logs. This article is essential for this study since it highlights the fact that there are acceptable and unacceptable boundaries when it comes to individual data. This text is vital since it gives an insight of other sources since the article highlights the recent case in Washington Post where NSA contractor reports about the project called Prism. This project permits the government agents to acquire information from accessing servers of the largest online companies such as Facebook, Skype, Google, Apple, Yahoo, cell phone records and Microsoft. The purpose of this venture is to defend the nation against terrorism. The author believes that this information should also be used after they have obtained a warrant.

The article highlights that the use of camera footage became acceptable when the state used it to track the Boston Marathon bombers and the rioters of the Vancouver Stanley Cup rioters. Camera surveillance has become a permanent solution for tracking criminals among the population. It is vital to note that this author focuses on describing how the public and online privacy has been violated over time since individuals are forced to believe that safety will be only achieved through lack of privacy. This article also aims at establishing how far the government can intrude into an individual privacy and it depicts that the government should aim at protecting the nation’s safety only.

  • Chittley, Jordan , and Kevin Newman. "Why Obama Can’t Stop the NSA from Spying No Matter What He Says." Kevin Newman Live. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. 

This article in CTV news highlights that President Obama will bring change to reduce intelligent surveillance that has infringed the privacy of Americans over the years. The author depicts the speech from the President who revokes the words of Paul Revere and George Patton who assert that intelligence has secured the nation and its freedom over the years. The USA has been spying on foreign leaders of their allies, its citizens and members of foreign governments. The President says that the NSA will stop the surveillance on foreign leaders although it will be spying in case of emergencies. The author claims that one of the disadvantages of protecting Americans from any attack currently and in future will be through NSA surveillance and Obama can do less to prevent spying and violating the privacy of individuals.

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The Obama’s government is also experiencing lack of privacy where whistle blowers and media are not safe. The article highlights that the government officials engaging in the leaking of any information are found through checking their internet records and phones. This is an indication that state has the capability of using their anti- terrorism power to violate any personal privacy in order to protect itself from any political embarrassment. The article, however, focuses on the line between this privacy and the national security actions. It highlights that free and creative media will ensure there is a balance between the individual privacy and the nation’s security.

  • Few See Adequate Limits on NSA Surveillance Program N.p., 26 July 2013.

Numerous people value their privacy, and 56 percent of Americans claim that the federal courts have failed to provide adequate limits to their internet and telephone data. According to this article, people believe that the government uses this information for the purpose of investigating terrorism as well as to fight terrorism. The article, unlike other articles used in this study, reveals that the government does not only collect metadata information such as email and phone numbers. It also gathers information about the content communicated by different people. Numerous people, therefore, believe that the government has read their emails and listened to phone calls. Despite the complaints about their privacy, numerous American citizens believe that the government’s efforts to collect phone numbers and emails have contributed to anti-terror efforts. The major concern that the public has is the fact that anti-terrorism programs restrict civil liberties. The state has overstepped its boundaries to the extent that it restricts an average person’s civil liberties, while they fail to protect the country.

Different people have different concerns about the NSA surveillance program because some people, such as the Tea Party Republicans, believe that the data is used to pursue political objectives or with the aim of targeting political opponents. This article will assist the reader to have knowledge on people’s views on NSA Surveillance Program. It is evident that people have divided opinions on this issue because some people believe that the government should limit Surveillance Program while other people believe that it is appropriate for the state to watch over its citizens.

  • Santayana, George. History Repeated: The Dangers of Domestic Spying by Federal Law Enforcement. N.p., 29 Nov. 2002. 

Spying on innocent American citizens in the past has been a huge problem. In the past, the FBI extensive surveillance harassed and intimidated law abiding citizens only because they had opinions that differed from that of the government. This article ensures that the readers gain knowledge on the effects of domestic spying by the federal law enforcement. According to this article, history is definitely repeating itself because the FBI has once again started to spy on citizens claiming that it is fighting terrorism. This article reveals that most Americans are in the government not for the purpose of fulfilling their constitutional rights. The FBI has used their mandate to illegally spy on different law abiding citizens and punish them without any legal conviction. According to the article, the Church Committee realized that when programs and groups such as the FBI increase the demand for new data, they increase pressure to use the information against the targeted group.

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