SB_February_2_2024

Page 15 The Sun Bay Paper February 2, 2024 Recently uncovered documents shed light on a controversial practice by the National Security Agency (NSA), raising broader questions about the extent of government surveillance and the protection of citizens’ privacy rights. The disclosure, spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden, underscores a pattern of government agencies sourcing sensitive information about Americans from commercial entities, sidestepping the usual legal processes of obtaining Warrants. This revelation comes at a time when concerns are mounting not only about domestic surveillance but also the potential involvement of foreign governments in acquiring personal data of U.S. citizens. Reports suggesting the Biden administration’s consideration of an executive order to curb such foreign acquisitions intensify the urgency of addressing these privacy issues. In his statements, Senator Wyden highlighted the NSA’s purchases encompassing details about Americans’ web browsing habits and app usage. The NSA’s procurement of netflow data, while not involving the content of communications, raises questions about the scope and implications of such surveillance. Director Paul Nakasone clarified that the purchased data includes information associated with electronic devices both within and outside the United States. While the NSA claims to employ technical filters to minimize the collection of U.S. person information, the absence of warrants in these acquisitions has stirred a debate about the balance between national security and individual privacy. The agency’s assurance that it does not obtain cellphone location data or automotive infotainment system data within the U.S. attempts to narrow the scope of its activities but leaves room for scrutiny. Senator Wyden’s call to cease warrantless surveillance through internet data purchases has prompted a response from the NSA, asserting its commitment to privacy safeguards. However, concerns persist about the legal grounds for such practices, especially in light of recent actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against data brokers. The reference to the FTC’s crackdowns suggests a growing recognition at the regulatory level of the need to address commercial surveillance practices that profit from lax cybersecurity measures. Furthermore, the senator’s insistence that intelligence agencies delete any commercially acquired data not aligning with recent FTC measures reflects a push for accountability and aligning government practices with evolving privacy regulations. It also underscores the ongoing tension between intelligence agencies’ need for data to fulfill their missions and the imperative to protect individuals’ privacy rights. Senator Wyden’s disclosure, following nearly three years of persistent efforts, emphasizes the challenges in bringing to light secretive government practices. His decision to tie the revelation to the nomination of the NSA director’s successor underscores the lengths to which privacy advocates are willing to go to ensure transparency and accountability in matters of national security and surveillance. As the debate unfolds, it will likely fuel broader discussions about the need for updated legal frameworks and increased oversight to strike an appropriate balance between security and privacy in the digital age. NSA Sidesteps the Warrant Process to Spy on YOU! Black student graduation rates rose by 1.7%, reaching 83.2%, while American Indian or Alaska Native students exhibited the highest overall graduation rates, surging by 7.2% to 84.7%. Hispanic students and economically disadvantaged students also saw respective increases of 0.9%, fi nishing the last school year at 86.8% and 83.8%. Wakulla County led the state with the highest graduation rate at 97.6%, followed closely by Walton (95.7%), Indian River (95.6%), and Levy (95.4%) counties. In contrast, Jeff erson County showed the lowest graduation rate at 66.7%, though it marked an improvement from the 2020 school year. Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. expressed pride in the achievements of Florida students, highlighting the unprecedented climb in graduation rates during Governor DeSantis’ tenure. Additionally, the state witnessed a decline in dropout rates, with a decrease from 3.4% in 2018-19 to 2.8% in 2022-23, indicating positive strides in overall educational outcomes. While all this seems great, during our research we found there are those who question the quality of the Education, to bolster graduation rates, we will look into this in the future. Florida High School Seniors Cont from pg 1

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