Congressional Digest

International Debates Archives September 2013 No. 6 Vol. 11
NSA Surveillance

NSA Surveillance

National Security and Privacy Rights

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The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, spurred calls for heightened U.S. security and the increased ability of law enforcement agencies to track and stop terrorists. In response, Congress quickly passed the USA PATRIOT Act, giving the government the power to search phone records, emails, and other forms of communication to gather intelligence.
Although controversial at the time ― civil libertarians warned that its broad language would allow the government to spy on innocent Americans ― the PATRIOT Act was approved by large majorities of the House and Senate, and has be…

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