“Many Americans are curious about electronic surveillance by the federal government. Conveniently, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has already helped provide some answers. Although much of the interest and attention arises from journalism in recent days (here, here, here, and here, and related stories), America has had various agencies conducting various forms of surveillance for various purposes for years. For over a decade, journalists have been using FOIA, among other means, to learn more about the surveillance capacities and activities of the federal government:
Q. Who, exactly, has been conducting surveillance?
Q. What kind of surveillance are we talking about?
Q. Who’s involved in this electronic surveillance?
Q. What do we know about surveillance and the law?
Q. What kind of oversight is there?
Q. What does surveillance cover? What do stories about surveillance reveal?
Q. Has surveillance affected the press?“