"Tactics employed to detect national security threats continue to implicate individuals' civil liberties. Electronic surveillance of communications to and from foreign intelligence targets can also capture innocent conversations and chill the exercise of First Amendment rights. New technologies may more effectively screen for explosives or other weapons, but simultaneously produce more revealing images of passengers' bodies. The broadened use of national security letters can provide investigators with a fuller picture to better allocate resources toward more serious threats, but also subject a larger universe of private financial or personal documents to disclosure. As Congress attempts to strike an appropriate balance between the need to detect and thwart activities that pose a threat to U.S. national security and the need to safeguard the civil liberties of U.S. persons, the following issues are likely to remain of interest."
CRS Issue Statement, IS40264
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