“The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). According to its own mission statement, the NSA is “charged with the protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare”. The NSA is also tasked with the protection of U.S. critical infrastructure and information. It is widely reported that the NSA conducts widespread clandestine operations worldwide. There have been numerous reports of the NSA’s clandestine operations. In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information to the media revealing the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. These programs collect vast amounts of electronic data from around the world, including from U.S. citizens. The full extent of the NSA’s surveillance activities is still not fully known, but it is clear that the agency has vast capabilities and engages in widespread operations. The NSA’s clandestine operations have raised concerns about the agency’s respect for privacy and civil liberties. There is debate about whether the NSA’s activities are necessary and effective, or whether they constitute an invasion of privacy and civil liberties. The NSA has defended its activities as necessary for national security and has said that it operates within the law. However, many people remain concerned about the NSA’s activities and the lack of transparency around them. The NSA has been involved in a number of controversies, most notably its surveillance programs. In 2013, the NSA was revealed to be collecting the telephone records of millions of American customers of Verizon, as well as the emails and internet usage of foreigners using major U.S. companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. The NSA has also been accused of spying on the leaders of U.S. allies, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The NSA‘s signals intelligence mission is to collect, process, and disseminate foreign communications and electronic intelligence information in support of U.S. national security. The NSA uses a variety of methods to carry out its mission, including:
The NSA is also responsible for data security, and works to protect U.S. government information systems from intrusion and attack. The NSA employs a variety of offensive and defensive cyber weapons, and is believed to be behind the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran‘s nuclear facilities.” (TEWAI)
Snowden, E. (2013). Leaks that exposed US spy program. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2013/jun/09/nsa-leaks-documents-snowden.
Lemos, R. (2015). US intel chief: NSA spying ‘not indiscriminate’. BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32938302.
Hosenball, M. (2013). U.S. intelligence: How NSA surveillance works. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-security-surveillance-idUSBRE95O1DQ20130611.
Greenwald, G. (2013). How the NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance state. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/07/nsa-turning-internet-total-surveillance-state.
ACLU. (2013). NSA surveillance FAQ. American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/nsa-surveillance-faq.
Perez, E., & Larson, C. (2013). What is PRISM? Everything you need to know. NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51032793/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/what-prism-everything-you-need-know/#.WLwB2IjyvIUlit.
“What does the NSA have to do with Eclectism? The NSA has a specific mission which is to protect the USA. The NSA gathers data by many means and works with other entities to prosecute the data when it appears out of the ordinary. Having a mission statement is necessary to guide activities. Everything is built around a mission statement, purpose or intention. The intention of The Eclectic Way is to share information which is helpful in the process of daily living. The more we know, the better our lives can be. People shouldn’t be overly concerned about privacy simply because there is no privacy. Privacy is an illusion.” (TEW)