A defense of bulk surveillance
The NSA programs enhance security without uniquely compromising privacy

Reuters

  • Title:

    Point of Attack: Preventive War, International Law, and Global Welfare
  • Format:

    HardCover
  • Hardcover Price:

    35.00
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    978-0199347735
  • Buy the Book

Article Highlights

  • President Obama is set to make one of the most momentous choices in the history of US intelligence.

    Tweet This

  • Obama is likely to sacrifice national security in response to spurious claims of lost civil liberties.

    Tweet This

At this writing, President Obama is set imminently to make one of the most momentous choices in the history of American intelligence. He will decide whether to curtail or terminate the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone-call records and e-mail traffic in its quest to find and stop terrorist plots against the United States. President Obama could continue a program that takes advantage of America’s technological superiority, meets the requirements of constitutional law, and has proven effective in stopping terrorist attacks. But, manipulated by intelligence leaks and stampeded by the demands of his anti-war base, he is likely to sacrifice national security in response to spurious claims of lost civil liberties.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the NSA established a program to trace phone calls and e-mails into the United States from suspected terrorists abroad. (One of us, John Yoo, judged the program to be constitutional as an official in the Justice Department in the months after the attacks.) The NSA already intercepts electronic communications abroad between foreigners in order to detect threats to U.S. national security and advance our foreign policy; that was the very purpose behind the establishment of the agency during the Cold War. To keep the intelligence agencies out of operations at home, however, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows only the FBI to eavesdrop on counterespionage and counterterrorism targets within the United States, after obtaining a special warrant.

This article appears in the print edition of National Review on April 7. It is available by subscription only at NationalReview.com.

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

John
Yoo

 

Arthur
Herman

What's new on AEI

How the Common Core went wrong
image Election countdown: The mood, measurements, and mechanics
image Rubio's defense speech: Fearless, informed, and refreshing
image Sorry Kerry, there is little role for Iran in fighting ISIS
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 22
    MON
  • 23
    TUE
  • 24
    WED
  • 25
    THU
  • 26
    FRI
Monday, September 22, 2014 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Policy implications of the new US labor market normal

We welcome you to join us as a panel of economists discuss US wage and price prospects in the coming months and the implications for the Federal Reserve’s current unorthodox monetary policy.

Friday, September 26, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
#ModiInUS: Can Modi’s visit to the White House put US-India relations back on track?

Tune in for this Google Hangout discussion with three leading experts about the implications of the Obama-Modi summit. Tweet your questions and comments to @AEI with #ModiInUS.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.