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Government Surveillance: Researching Government Surveillance

A brief research guide for students researching electronic surveillance in the United States

Start Learning About Your Topic

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

Useful Search Terms

Use these words to search for useful information in books including eBooks and articles at the MJC Library.

  • privacy
  • internet
  • right of privacy
  • electronic surveillance
  • government surveillance
  • domestic surveillance
Use the Databases Below to Begin Learning About Your Topic

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

Electronic surveillance is a complex topic that is best dealt with by narrowing your focus. Do some background reading, and use the questions below to help you focus your topic.

  • Does government surveillance violate civil rights?
  • Is government surveillance making the country safer?
  • Is America becoming an intrusive surveillance state?
  • What constitutional protections apply to government surveillance?
  • How are our Fourth Amendment rights challenged by new technologies?
  • In this social media climate what does right of privacy mean?

Explore Your Topic Further

When you are ready to explore and answer your research questions, use these databases below.

Videos on Surveillance

Find videos and documentaries about government surveillance in our streaming video databases.

Use the Web for Research

Search the Web

Use Google Scholar to find academically-appropriate Web sites.

Google Scholar Search

Selected Websites

Selected Library eBooks

Cite Your Sources

Your instructor should tell you which citation style they want you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.

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Drop-In research help

Meet with a librarian


  • 209-575-6230 (East Campus) or
  • 209-575-6949 (West Campus)

Text: (209) 710-5270

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