Home > Digital Policy, Privacy > Is The Patriot Act Clogging NSA’s Ability to Keep Americans Safe?

Is The Patriot Act Clogging NSA’s Ability to Keep Americans Safe?

In the US and after 9/11 the NSA and other agency’s were infused with massive cash to spend on surveillance, at home and abroad.  The Patriot Act was the Bush administrations response to 9/11 which gave agencies such as the NSA free rain to spy on domestic communications.  The free rain on domestic communications is causing a bit of information overload with respect to intelligence communities.  The job of intelligence analysts is to get the dots, connect the dots, and understand the dots when looking at intel.  With a wide swath of information coming in after the Patriot Act was implemented, some former NSA analysts have complained that they have been spending large amounts of time investigating leads that go no where, rather than actually targeting known groups and terrorists.  Too much time is being spent on analyzing regular conversations, and at the end of the day a human, not software needs to make the connection, or connect the dots to useful intel.  The fact that the Boston bombings happened while the NSA has the power to spy on domestic telecommunications and data (and has for years), is represented of a failure of the intelligence community, and a failure of policy regarding domestic surveillance ie. Patriot Act.

PBS did a program in 2009 called “The Spy Factory”, where former CIA, NSA, and FBI agents were interviewed on what happened in the intelligence community before 9/11 and the implementation of the Patriot Act.  If you haven’t viewed it, spend some time and view it if you’ve been following these recent developments.

Another interesting view is “The War on Whistleblowers”. The Patriot Act was classified and never intended to be public knowledge, until a whishleblower blew the doors wide open on the legislation.  That story is included with several others in this documentary.



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