Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NSA's Collection Activities

A subject much in the news recently is the National Security Agency's "bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls."

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service considers the constitutionality of the authorizing provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act.

Note the URL below the image of the cover of the report. The report is found not on the website of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) or any other federal government website. Why? Because Congress has deliberately chosen not to make CRS reports available to the public.

Want to learn more? Check out the Gallagher guide on CRS Reports.

And what's up with the way that members of Congress often create acronyms and initialisms out of titles of statutes? Did you know that the full name of the USA PATRIOT Act is United and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism?

Want to learn more about this phenomenon? My colleague reference librarian Mary Whisner wrote an interesting article on the topic. What's in a Statute Name?, 97 Law Libr. J. 557 (2005).

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