FISA Amendment Allows Collection of All Our International Calls
Great read today, in the Nation: Data Mining Our Liberties. Aziz Huq examines the recently passed "Protect America Act of 2007." The Brennan Center says:
Azi believes the law "is a dramatic, across-the-board expansion of government authority to collect information without judicial oversight," and "an open-ended invitation to collect Americans' international calls and e-mails."
Huq breaks down how and why this law came into being and notes that, in truth, the law actually does not expire in 6 months. Ultimately it gives the Administration "power without responsibility" and "allows the government to spy when there is no security justification."
Just a few of the points:
The law's most important effect is arguably not its expansion of raw surveillance power but the sloughing away of judicial or Congressional oversight.
....The key term in the Protect America Act is its licensing of "surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States." ....the trouble with this language is that it permits freewheeling surveillance of Americans' international calls and e-mails. The problem lies in the words "directed at." Under this language, the NSA could decide to "direct" its surveillance at Peshawar, Pakistan--and seize all US calls going to and from there. It could focus on Amman, or Cairo, or London, or Paris, or Toronto... Simply put, the law is an open-ended invitation to collect Americans' international calls and e-mails.
Go on over and read the whole thing.
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