Web Resource Documents Latest Firestorm over NSA

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 4, 2013

“Recent press disclosures about National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance activities — relying on documents provided by Edward Snowden — have sparked one of the most significant controversies in the history of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Today, the nongovernmental National Security Archive at The George Washington University posts a compilation of over 125 documents — a Web resource — to provide context and specifics about the episode. The Snowden leaks have generated broad public debate over issues of security, privacy, and legality inherent in the NSA’s surveillance of communications by American citizens. Furthermore, news coverage has explored the story on many levels, from the previously unknown scope of the NSA’s programs, to public and congressional reactions, to Snowden’s personal saga, including his attempts to evade U.S. authorities and avoid extradition to the United States. Today’s posting covers the full range of these topics, featuring documents from the White House, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and the NSA itself, among other sources. The records include:

  • White House and ODNI efforts to explain, justify, and defend the programs
  • Correspondence between outside critics and executive branch officials
  • Fact sheets and white papers distributed (and sometimes later withdrawn) by the government
  • Key laws and court decisions (both Supreme Court and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court)
  • Documents on the Total Information Awareness (later Terrorist Information Awareness, or TIA) program, an earlier proposal for massive data collection
  • Manuals on how to exploit the Internet for intelligence.”

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