The CIA conduction domestic spying- a national security vs civil liberties dilemma

Should the CIA be allowed to conduct domestic spying inside the U.S.? I believe so. Yeah, I know, most Americans want the CIA to conduct foreign spying only, but I question the national security vs. civil liberties quandary which hangs deeply within the American psyche.

I was at an AFIO luncheon some years ago and met several Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officers. The CSIS is comparable to the U.S. CIA, but is homegrown civilian intelligence agency that conducts domestic spying. It is subject to review by the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) as well as a host of other legislative checks and balances.

We talked about how effective their jobs were in conducting domestic spying and rooting out the bad guys while reaching thousands of “marginal youths” and stopping them from becoming radicalized online and on the streets.

Like Canada, I believe the U.S. can have a huge intelligence agency conduct domestic spying without the American people feeling as if their personal freedoms and civil liberties are at stake. I feel we should begin discussing how the CIA can borrow the CSIS methadology- the video Canadian CSIS Intelligence Officers- Recruiting Video brings out how a civilian intelligence agency should work, where the agents are half intelligence officers/half social workers.

In one last attempt to persuade you that the CIA should be allowed to conduct domestic spying inside the U.S., I urge you to read Issue 9/3/16 of the “Spy Agency Happenings!” newsletter; it focuses on domestic spying in the U.S., Germany, and the UK. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The FBI has an entire army of people whose sole job is to do surveillance. Whether they are tracking a terrorist suspect or mobster or potential spy.
  • In 2013, the world was outraged to learn that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on private communications on a mass scale. Do they still feel that way today?
  • The domestic spying argument doesn’t have to be ‘national security vs. Civil liberties’- both can exist together. You CAN have national security while preserving civil liberties.
  • The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) may have taken some fairly extreme liberties when it comes to collecting user data, but the organization hasn’t acted on a whim. There was good reason for it to do so.

Enjoy spy/espionage thrillers? Check out the COREY PEARSON- CIA SPYMASTER series!

  • The NSA’s domestic spying program, known in official government documents as the “President’s Surveillance Program,” (“The Program”) was implemented by President George W. Bush.
  • The British spy agency GCHQ spies on Americans more than the NSA does.
  • Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama’s first state visit to Berlin.
  • After Germany halted its internet surveillance targeting German companies and officials last May, their spy agency BND has resumed its spying operations in collaboration with the NSA.
  • Obama justifies NSA spying, reminding us that Paul Revere did it first. The POTUS argues that the US has always defended freedom through surveillance. President Obama said this in 2014 In a speech that was billed as an announcement of “reforms” to the NSA’s mass spying practices.
  • The director of the National Security Administration told Congress that more than 50 potential terrorist attacks have been thwarted by two controversial tracking programs.
  • The death of Osama bin Laden marked an important victory in the long war on terrorism. This article tells why.
  • Does spying on Americans protect the US? The NSA Director says it does. This article explains why.
  • Ever wonder how the NSA Domestic Spy Grid Works? This ex-military insider reveals how it functions.
  • The Intelligence Community (IC) focuses on data security and as a group of agencies, it has been spotlighted recently as being more open to sharing. Is there a controversy here?

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts about having the CIA conduct domestic surveillance inside America. Please leave a comment.

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and authors the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.

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