Thursday, January 11, 2018

With Support From Nancy Pelosi, House Gives Trump Administration Broad Latitude to Spy on Americans



WITH BIPARTISAN BACKING, the House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would renew one of the government’s most sweeping surveillance authorities for six years with minimal changes.

The measure, which passed 256-164, reauthorized Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was set to expire later this month.

The law was first passed in 2008 to legalize President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. It allows the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ communications with people overseas, as long as the NSA is “targeting” the foreigners involved.

The law serves as the legal backing for two mammoth NSA programs revealed by Edward Snowden: Upstream, which collects information from the internet junctions where data passes in and out of the country, and PRISM, which collects communications from U.S.-based internet companies, like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo.

The programs rest on the notion that they are “targeting” foreigners, but they also collect massive amounts of data on Americans, including wholly domestic communications. Amazingly, the intelligence community has never disclosed how much. Numerous members of Congress have requested an estimate since 2011, but both the Obama and Trump administrations have refused to provide one.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/11/nsa-pelosi-democrats-spy-american-section-702/

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