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NSA/Government Eavesdropping


Research Question: Should the U.S. Government be allowed to gather information on citizens’ phone calls and internet searching?

This topic will explore the different arguments for and against the U.S. Government National Security Agency’s phone and internet monitoring programs. You will also explore the different viewpoints of politicians, legal analysts, academics, and the general public. You will be required to read many different types of information sources including articles found in popular websites and scholarly sources.

Step 1: Locate and read two background articles 

Find the following encyclopedia article by following the path provided:

Maclin, Tracey. “Wiretapping and Eavesdropping.” Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice. Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice. Ed. Joshua Dressler.  2nd ed.  Vol. 4.  New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. 1677-1685. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

  • UA Library Homepage> Search & Find > Articles & Databases
  • Under Find Databases by TITLE, select G > Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • In the search box next to Keyword, type "wiretapping and eavesdropping" and then click Search
  • On the search results page, click on the title "Wiretapping and Eavesdropping" from the Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice.
  • Read the article.

Access the following CQ Researcher article by following the path provided:

"Government Surveillance"

  • UA Library Homepage> Search & Find > Articles & Databases
  • Find Databases by TITLE > C
  • Scroll down the page and click the link CQ Researcher Plus Archive
  • Browse Reports > by Topic > Law and Justice > Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues> "Government Surveillance" (Aug. 30, 2013) Read the article.

Access and explore the Edward Snowden information on Democracy Now

Step 2: Analyze Articles: 

Print the Article Analysis form. You will complete this as you read the following articles:

Access Academic Search Complete:
Go to the UA Library homepage at www.library.arizona.edu Click Search & Find > Articles & Databases > Academic Search Complete

Article 1

  • In the keyword search box type in "NSA data mining" and click Search.
  • Find the record for the article titled "NSA Data Mining: How It Works" by Joe Pappalardo.
  • Click the link to read the full article.

Article 2

  • In Academic Search Complete, click Clear to begin a new search.
  • In the keyword search box type in "surveillance and the individual’s privacy" and click Search.
  • Find the record for the article titled "Surveillance and the Individual’s Expectation of Privacy under the Fourth Amendment” by Eoin Carolan.
  • Click the PDF link to read the full article.

Step 3: Select and evaluate websites

These tutorials will help you identify a set of criteria for assessing a web source’s credibility.

Step 4: Search for more articles

Step 5: Use specialized databases and locate articles when you have a citation

Step 6: Cite your sources

Citation Guide

Last modified: September 30, 2014