Intelligence in a Post 9/11 Era

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With the 9/11 terrorist attacks came a shift in the Intelligence Community (IC) of the United States. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004 created the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), with the goal of an increase of communication between members of the IC and greater focus on national security. This increase in priority to terrorist prevention led to the establishment of the USA Patriot Act, which built off the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 in regards to electronic surveillance. The newest bill concerning electronic surveillance was the FISA Amendments Act passed on July 10, 2008. The bill allows for an expansion of wiretapping powers of the government and grants immunity to the phone companies who assisted Bush?s illegal wiretapping following the 9/11 attacks. Controversy arose, particularly with the decision of Obama?s support of this bill, bringing to question his political reasons for this support. While the arguments in support of this bill stress the importance of providing security to the American people, how far is the government willing to go and more importantly how far is it necessary to go to provide this protection without the risk of infringing on civil liberties?


Professor Caldwell




Anderson Fund Fellowship

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