IR NSA group paper - Tyler Tudryn Kiriaki Tsevdos and...

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Tyler Tudryn, Kiriaki Tsevdos and Victorya French-Williams 12/2/13 International Relations Group Paper: NSA After reading a report by CNN (Nyberg, 2013) we chose to focus on the recent National Security Agency (NSA) issue where events transpired that revealed that the NSA had been, for over 10 years, wire-tapping abroad the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in addition to other accusations. Our objective entering this study was to reason why specific actors in the conflict made the decisions they did, how their perspectives play a role in the aftermath of the event and what potential new conflicts could arise as a result of the conflict. We planned to describe these actors in the contrasting roles of Neo- Realist and Neoliberal Institutionalist. We also hoped to incorporate the theme of sovereignty and the challenges such a fiasco poses to it. Before analyzing the issue in-depth, we refreshed our knowledge of the NSA by reviewing their website including a history and mission statement, which entailed confronting the “formidable challenge or preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information.” (NSA Central Security Service, 2009) The Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) is a branch within the NSA, which is responsible for overseeing intelligence information gather abroad along with supporting military operations. The NSA also enables network warfare, which is used to defeat terrorists while abiding by U.S. laws. We had never before directly linked the incorporation of the NSA into our national strategy of intelligence-gathering with the tactic of code-breaking used against German and Japanese forces in WWII. It was somewhat aggravating to hear responses from members of the White House Administration legitimizing wire-tapping of both American citizens as well as those
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abroad by claiming that only statistics, timestamps and the like are being reported to intelligence operations while no personal information is conveyed. (Kravets, 9/5/13) This is frustrating not only because it comes across as very dismissive but also because they refuse to acknowledge the potential risks associated with what information they are able to obtain such as learning who chooses to associate with whom and when. This review of
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