US NSA spy agency halts controversial email sweep

Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it is allowed to scoop up a US citizen's emails or texts with so
Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it is allowed to scoop up a US citizen's emails or texts with someone outside the country if those merely mention a specific NSA surveillance target—so-called "about" collection

The National Security Agency announced Friday it would end its controversial practice of sweeping up any email or text message an American exchanges with someone overseas that makes reference to a real target of NSA surveillance.

The powerful US spy agency said that although it has the legal power to continue scooping up such communications, it would halt the practice to protect the privacy of US citizens.

"NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target," it said in a statement.

The NSA, the country's premier signals intelligence body, is permitted to collect communications of any foreign target, but not that of Americans except in certain situations, or if it gains a warrant to do so.

Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it is allowed to scoop up a US citizen's emails or texts with someone outside the country if those merely mention a specific NSA surveillance —so-called "about" collection.

The practice has sparked heavy criticism from civil liberties advocates, who say it violates constitutional protections. Many have threatened to try to block the renewal of Section 702 at the end of this year if the law is not tightened.

But the country's community wants the law to be renewed unchanged.

The NSA said it would voluntarily end "about" collection even if it means that it might lose access to other important information in the fight against cyber threats and terrorism.

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, praised the move but said that Section 702 needs multiple changes.

"To permanently protect Americans' rights, I intend to introduce legislation banning this kind of in the future," he said.


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Apr 29, 2017
Heck with our loved ones being blown to bits! I want my privacy when I tell my son about the pizza I had for dinner last night :-)

Apr 30, 2017
There is no evidence that this practice has ever gained any intel that has ever protected anyone from any security threat. Blind faith in unlimited government power is an existential threat to everyone's freedom.

rderkis:
Heck


Apr 30, 2017
You'e inconsistent, @Emcee. First you want government to regulate the genomes of all our children, then you don't want surveillance.

Make up your mind.

Apr 30, 2017
Well, I don't "want government to regulate the genomes of all our children", that's your strawman. Nor do I want no surveillance - another strawman.

I do want government to protect our rights, and not to violate those rights. In the real world there are frequently judgement calls among complex competing factors. In an imaginary world the government would never invade the privacy of any person, but when evidence convinces an impartial judge that there's probable cause to investigate a specific crime that's a compromise we've accepted as just. Even when it means a costly (to both government and the subject) and invasive investigation that could very well provide no further evidence, because the person committed no crime. This is not inconsistent.

But when government invades privacy without cause and without benefit, that is unjust. It is un-American, against core principles this country claims to honor even above physical wellbeing.

Da Schneib:
You'e inconsistent


Apr 30, 2017
My strawman was in response to yours. Apparently you didn't notice.

As for government protecting our rights, it never does. Only laws can protect our rights. Laws that cannot be changed. And as few of them as possible.

May 11, 2017
My strawman? What? My post referred to the blind faith in government power rderkis was pimping.

And when you thought that was a strawman (somehow), you thought you'd launch a strawman at me? Why, because "thoroughly fallacious" is a good strategy?

Or maybe you're into something even less logical than a fallacy: How could laws protect our rights without government? You really think government never protects your rights? You really think it should be possible to make a law that cannot be changed?

Where is any sense in what you've posted in this thread?

Da Schneib
My strawman


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