American’s Constitutional Rights for Privacy
The “war on terror” was introduced by George W Bush, which offered more power and authority to US intelligence agencies as the surveillance has become an acknowledged mechanism to assist in thwarting terrorist attacks in the near future.
US government claimed that war on terrorism , and the enactment of Patriot Act are mainly intended to safeguard USA and its citizens from the future terrorist attack or to avert another 9/11 type attack.
The main aim of the NSA (National Security Agency) of USA is to gather intelligence data and information so as to carryout national operation for foreign intelligence. SIGINT is the signal intelligence which involves collection data from foreign intelligence agencies, for helping missions carried over by the US government which includes narcotic and crime deterrence, military missions, foreign diplomacy, etc.
The FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 1978) controls the gathering of foreign intelligence data and it covers wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, physical ingress by intelligence agents and trap/ pen orders. Before eavesdropping, intelligence agency has to obtain a warrant from the FISA court (Carmen 2012).
Whistle blowing against US government is not a new phenomenon. Earlier, in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg exposed how the US public had been hoodwinked about Vietnam War. Julian Assange leaked US documents about US’s engagement of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.