Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another studentâ€s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.
Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.
Respond to Rachel:
The Fourth Amendment is the major legal issue at play in deciding how the DOD and other federal agencies can collect and use domestic intelligence information. Americans have the right to not be unreasonably searched or surveilled, and the PATRIOT Act, combined with off-book operations that are only known to us through whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, have fundamentally eroded at least the presumed protections many Americans thought we enjoyed under the Fourth Amendment. The Bush Administration implicitly argued that terrorism threats make searches â€œreasonable,â€ and this could well be the case, but gauging the extent to which military and intelligence agents should be able to monitor the communications of Americans is deeply controversial.
DODâ€s involvement in domestic intelligence collection is highly threatening, because I am very skeptical that national defense officials should be in charge of surveilling the email (and other) communications of civilians. The U.S. government is oriented around civilian control of the military, not military control of civilians (and their emails). I think DOD can theoretically contribute tools, training, and techniques to DHS, the FBI, and CIA, but certainly should not be in the command structure of domestic intelligence gathering or a primary provider of staff or resources.
The Anderson reading references Executive Order 12333 which lays out rules for how information can be gathered, and she discusses the competing goals of liberty and security which underlined the provisions of Executive Order 12333 (Anderson, 2005, p. 2). Though her paper was written nearly 15 years ago now, its questions are just as relevant today. Americans enjoyed a renaissance in discussing the degree to which civil liberties and privacy were being violated by post-9/11 intelligence systems when Snowden revealed that the NSA was compiling masses of information on Americans. The highly debated Section 702 of FISA allows the NSA to collect information on Americans under the pretense of gathering the online communications of foreign nationals. Data showed that in 2017, NSA tripled the records of phone calls and text messages that it had collected in 2016, though analysis of these numbers should be tempered by understanding of a 2015 law that prevented NSA from some bulk collection systems that had enabled the agency to collect information from billions of calls (Volz 2018). And while these numbers are worrying, Section 702 continues to be renewed because Americans are perhaps more worried about terror threats than privacy violations.
In reading the Committee on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans report, I found it fascinating that this precise debate has been occurring since long before 9/11. Chairman Church of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found that â€œtoo often, constitutional principles were subordinated to a pragmatic course of permitting desired ends to dictate and justify improper meansâ€ in the intelligence field (Church, 1976, p. III). The Committeeâ€s long report explored how it appeared that the FBI would sometimes refuse â€œto cooperate with reporters critical of the Bureauâ€ (Church, 1976, p. 243) and that the Bureau was improperly attempting to influence public opinion on partisan topics like the Free Love campaign (Church, 1976, p. 242). One of the recommendations of the report was to require intelligence agencies to provide their files to GAO so Congress could exercise appropriate oversight of what agencies were collecting on domestic subjects. The Committee also recommended that Americans should have an expanded civil remedy against intelligence agencies that violate their constitutional rights. Taken in total, the Committeeâ€s nearly 100 recommendations urge far more restraint on domestic intelligence agencies and more deference to the Constitution, despite the Cold War context.
Now, in the post-9/11 context, Americans of all parties have already implicitly given freer range to domestic intelligence collection than the Senate Committee did in 1976. But the same questions apply, and I believe Congress should as a whole, not just members serving on Intelligence Committees, have more information about NSA and other collections. Otherwise, there is no oversight on the protection of constitutional rights and we cannot even know to what extent privacy and civil liberties are being violated. Routine gathering of the emails of Americans beyond 702 authorities would result in bipartisan uproar, but the NSA revelations show that more information is being collected than we even imagined, so this could be happening to some degree already without our knowledge.
Amanda Anderson, â€œWhat Role for DoD Intelligence in Support of the Homeland Security Mission?â€ Army War College, March 17, 2005,https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pdffiles/ksil99.pdf
Dustin Volz, â€œSpy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records: official report,â€ Reuters, May 4, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-surveillance/spy-agency-nsa-triples-collection-of-u-s-phone-records-official-report-idUSKBN1I52FR
Chairman Frank Church, â€œIntelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans,â€ Final Report of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, April 26, 1976,https://apus.intelluslearning.com/lti/#/document/197912760/1/440784c2db2d588c0b51e15119de7b45/88608d1608037f3b6c43e1b5ae75360f/browse_published_content/14900/65516/119133/10/lesson/lesson?hideClose=false&tagId=124691&external_course_id=402547&external_course_name=INTL613%20I001%20Sum%2019
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