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Is NSA Spying on Americans Legal?

01-23-2014
Susan Freiwald

USF law Professor Susan Freiwald believes the FBI and NSA broke the law when they spied on the communications of millions of Americans.

Q: It’s unsettling to learn that our government is spying on us. How extensive is the surveillance?

A: The scope of information that is being captured and stored is fairly mind blowing. The U.S. government has access to the fiber optic cables that carry information across the world as well as the networks of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Skype, and more. The government has apparently accessed our emails and telephone calls, video and voice chats, online pictures, and online browsing histories.

The NSA has admitted to collecting information on every telephone call coming into, going out of, and made within the U.S. beginning in 2004 and continuing up to today. The collected information includes who made the calls to whom, when they were made, how long the calls lasted, and each phones’ unique subscriber identification information. The same type of information was collected for all Internet communications from 2004 until 2011.

The NSA claims that the actual contents of the communications were not collected. There is much more we don’t know and that the government has refused to provide details on, such as what else has been collected and stored.

Q: Is this surveillance legal?

A: I believe the FBI and NSA ... Read more in USF Magazine.

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