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Since June, news reports based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have revealed the depth and breadth of NSA spying activities. The NSA scandal’s many dimensions include: mass domestic surveillance of telephone call information, official deception of Congress and the public about the nature of the NSA’s programs, alleged access to traffic of major Internet companies, and systematic efforts to undercut the use of the encryption that secures communications and financial information. As the NSA scandal unfolds, this page will compile a selection of work from Cato’s scholars on the topic.

News Coverage of Cato’s October 9 Conference: “NSA Surveillance: What We Know; What to Do about It:

In re: Electronic Privacy Information Center
Legal Briefs. August 12, 2013.
Director of Information Policy Studies Jim Harper and Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett filed this amicus brief in support of a direct appeal to the Supreme Court seeking review of the FISA court’s order approving mass collection of call records, arguing that the program is unlawful under the plain language of the PATRIOT Act and the flat Fourth Amendment bar against general warrants.

Peggy Noonan, “What We Lose if We Give up Privacy,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2013, interviewing “the great journalist and civil libertarian,” Cato senior fellow Nat Hentoff on NSA abuses.

Cato research fellow Julian Sanchez named one of “the Only Government and Security Experts You Need to Follow” (a list of 15) by Wired.

’No Place to Hide’ from NSA, Then or Now
by Gene Healy, DC Examiner. September 30, 2013.

A Deceptive Letter to the NSA’s Spy Family
by Gene Healy, DC Examiner. September 23, 2013.

Where’s the Oversight on NSA Spying?
Julian Sanchez, Politico, August 16, 2013

2011 CATO Article Nails the Stipulations for NSA Data Tracking
by Julian Sanchez, Business Insider. July 23, 2013.

The Internet Needs a “No Spy Zone“
Simon Lester, The Blaze, July 11, 2013.

Congress Rises to Protect Separation of Powers
Nat Hentoff, Cato​.org, July 10, 2013

Scandals at NSA and IRS Are Equally Alarming
Gene Healy, DC Examiner July 1, 2013

Spying’s the Story, Not Edward Snowden
Gene Healy, DC Examiner, June 24, 2013

NSA Snooping Matters, Even if You Have “Nothing to Hide“
Julian Sanchez, Mashable, June 14, 2013

“It Can’t Happen Here” Just Did
Gene Healy, DC Examiner, June 11, 2013

Officials Need to Come Clean on NSA Surveillance Activities
Jim Harper, Daily Caller, June 6, 2013


Julian Sanchez discusses Edward Snowden and the NSA on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, August 9, 2013.