FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the law which gives the government the authority to spy on foreigners outside the United States is set to expire next year, which means that the debate over government surveillance will once again be ramping up.
The tension between government surveillance, citizens’ privacy, and national security has been an ongoing issue for years. From concerns over the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden’s leaks and the controversy over NSA surveillance, and more recently the FBI’s case against Apple over encryption, evolving technology is constantly raising new questions about surveillance and privacy.
Supporters of the FISA argue that these surveillance powers are key to national security. Opponents, meanwhile, point out that these rules allow the government to collect the communications of U.S. citizens who communicate with foreigners.
Due to the lack of transparency of the surveillance program, no one knows how many American citizens’ communications may have been collected under the FISA law. In light of the scandal over NSA spying, many skeptics are wary of the government’s possible misuse of FISA to spy on U.S. citizens.
The debate will continue as the law’s expiration date looms nearer. In the meantime, you can brush up on security, privacy, and your rights with the NSA playlist below.