Brian Rotella and Mike Picariello
Is the government listening?
Each day, the national security agency silently monitors millions of telephone calls and emails. After September 11th, president bush authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans suspected of ties to Al Qaeda. As a result, thousands of citizens in the United States had their international phone calls or emails monitored. The president’s actions raised several critical constitutional issues. Many asked if the president was abusing his power. The president believed he used his presidential power because it was highly needed. The issues seemed to provoke very different reactions depending on how it was viewed. Today, with people expressing their innermost thoughts through email, medical and financial records on the Internet, and even talking on cell phones, the government can know exactly what you are doing.
1. Why do you think the government denied the existence of the national security agency?
2. Does the president have expanded powers during wartime? If so, to what extent
3. What is the extent of protections against the 4th amendment, which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure?
4. How do you think the government balances its responsibility to defend the nation from terrorist attacks and other threats, while protecting the rights of its citizens at the same time?
5. Was it smart for congress to pass a resolution in the days after 9/11 that authorized president bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force to fight those responsible”?
6. What is your opinion on the government eavesdropping on citizens without warrants? What if the citizen is a suspect to terrorism?
7. At the time this article was written, the court rejected only 5 out of the past 19,000 warrant requests for monitoring its citizens. Why were only 5 rejected?