November 28, 2017

PRESIDENT TWEETS, ROME BURNS: While The President’s gratuitous snark about Elizabeth Warren dominates the news cycle, major media seems to be missing the real news that will seriously affect them as journalists and the public at large. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a provision of law that allows the government to conduct mass surveillance of innocent people, including Americans. The Hill reminds readers that Congress is poised to jam through reauthorization of this mass surveillance:

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has marked up the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act, S. 2010. The bill, sponsored by Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is actually worse than existing law. It explicitly allows the attorney general to use [electronic communications] information collected under Section 702 for domestic crimes that have nothing to do with national security and forbids judicial review of that decision.

The idea of walling off such action from judicial review ought to put a scare into anyone. Moreover:

The House version of the USA Liberty Act, for instance, has a weak warrant requirement, which would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct backdoor searches of electronic communications collected by the NSA for domestic, non-terrorism investigations.

The potential for abuse is endless.

 

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