By MICHAEL SELBY | AP Staff WriterWASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency’s vast collection of cellphone data may be one of the most damaging revelations in decades, but its long-term economic impact is not yet clear.
The NSA is collecting a lot of information about Americans, and some economists are worried that its data-mining could put an already strained economy on the edge.
Here’s a look at what you need to know about the NSA, the agency’s critics and what economists say about its long term impact.
WHAT IS THE NSA?
The National Intelligence Program is the largest surveillance effort in U.S. history.
It gathers data on hundreds of millions of Americans, including phone calls, emails and financial transactions.
It’s part of the NSA and is part of a larger effort to collect information about millions of foreigners in the United States, including those living overseas.
The agency has been accused of collecting a variety of private information from Americans without warrants.
The programs are overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which is charged with managing the agency and keeping it out of the hands of criminals and other suspected terrorists.
HOW DOES THE NSA SURVEILLANCE WORK?
The NSA collects a lot more than phone numbers and addresses.
In fact, the NSA calls it its “biggest scoop.”
It has a massive database of all of the phone calls made in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as many other countries around the world.
In its most recent report, the government said the NSA has collected nearly 10 trillion phone calls and emails since 2002.
The vast majority of that information is not tied to terrorism.
The bulk of it, however, is.
The government also collects data on people who are known to the NSA to be involved in terrorism.
Those people are called “targeted individuals,” or T.T.s.
The U.N. Security Council last month passed a resolution calling on the U,S.
to halt its bulk collection of phone data.
But critics argue that even though the NSA collects the data for national security purposes, it does so without regard to the privacy concerns of ordinary people.
“We need to be clear about how we are using the data, and that means that the NSA cannot rely on a broad set of rules and regulations that apply to the public,” says Robert Kagan, director of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security Policy at George Washington University.
“If they’re going to be collecting this data, they’re using it for national-security purposes, and the public has a right to know what’s going on.”
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE NSA ON THE U.Y.S.?
The NSA programs have already caused significant damage.
The program is now responsible for roughly 3 percent of the U