Recent news coverage has centered on the story of Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), who recently revealed information regarding a classified program known as PRISM, in which the NSA tapped into the servers of nine leading Internet companies.
Under current law, the NSA has the authority to obtain data from electronic service providers on their customers who reside outside the United States â€“ including e-mail, chat, photos, videos, stored data, and file transfers. To the extent the program captures information pertaining to U.S. citizens, such interception can only be incidental. On June 18th, 2013, NSA Director Keith Alexander testified that the PRISM program helped avert more than 50 â€śpotential terrorist events.â€ť
The Fourth Amendment provides that, â€śthe right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.â€ť While law enforcement and the intelligence community should have all the resources necessary to combat terrorism, they also must act within the bounds of the Constitution.
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