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Government Electronic Surveillance in the United States

Autor:   •  February 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  4,694 Words (19 Pages)  •  1,083 Views

Page 1 of 19

Government Electronic

Surveillance in the United States

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

History 5

Recent History 10

Data Encryption Practices 11

State and Local Government Surveillance 14

Conclusion 15

References 17

Introduction

It’s a crisp spring morning in the Greater Seattle Area. The citizens of Seattle Metropolitan Area are driving their vehicles, riding the buses, walking down the streets; basically carrying out their normal lives as they would on any normal day. This includes the typical grocery store visits for the last minute items, malls for never ending sales, work, or even recreational locations for the occasional indoor or outdoor activities. For these average citizens, the last thought in their head is to believe or think that someone or something is tracking or following their every move. Unfortunately however, government surveillance is taking place and there is not particularly much, if anything, that can be done to avoid these measures. The amount of data that is collected every hour is astonishing but there is no real intelligence value to tracking these so called average Americans. Despite this fact, attempts are still made and conducted to keep tabs on just about anyone and everyone, regardless of whom they really are.

Vehicles, cellular phones, and some portable electronic devices are regularly equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) that can be linked back and tracked by those who have access to the databases in which private information is held. At this level though, this information is not in the long arms of the government but due to new laws and regulations, at any point, a U.S. Government agency can subpoena the private company for any and all data that pertains to any single person or group of people.

Several instances have occurred where a private company, such as AT&T, has been told to hand over private records regarding the activity of a target’s cellular phone. Utilizing this information, government agencies have the capability to analyze who a person has called and develop contact lists or chaining, when and how many times calls or other activity has taken place, how long the activity has taken place, and even the area that a person was likely to have been during these

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