Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Terrorism, Domestic Spying
Mathieu Deflem & Lisa Dilks
Domestic spying is a cultural construct that is used, especially among civil libertarians and the media, to refer to internally directed surveillance programs initiated by a variety of formal agencies of social control and intelligence. In the current U.S. context, domestic spying primarily refers to the debate that erupted following several revelations about surveillance programs set up, without court approval or congressional oversight, to aid in the fight against terrorism. Although the debate on domestic spying is recent, internal surveillance programs have considerable historical antecedents. U.S. domestic surveillance programs date back to the 1930s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly ordered the Bureau of Investigation (renamed Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] in 1935) to investigate the American Nazi movement. On September 6, 1939, 3 days after the British and French declaration of war on Nazi Germany, Roosevelt formally placed the FBI in charge of all surveillance activities relating to espionage, ...