New NSA Guidelines Allow Use of Intercepted Info Against US Citizens

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Editor’s Note: Question: What ever happened to, oh, I dunno… THE CONSTITUTION???


The government can use information in court about US citizens obtained through the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) which ostensibly targets only foreigners, according to an Obama administration report released Tuesday.

The report outlines some reforms that have been implemented and others proposed since Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying jump-started a worldwide debate about the US government’s intelligence operations. The catalog of surveillance policy modifications was released to mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s 2014 speech calling for surveillance reform.

Among those guidelines is a provision specifying how information collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) can  be used. As the name suggests, this intelligence gathering operation is directed at foreign intelligence targets, and cannot, by law, be used to intentionally target a US citizen.

However, there have been “legitimate questions” about “incidental collection,” explained Robert Litt, the General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, speaking at the Brookings Institute on Wednesday.

“We are inevitably going to collect the communications of some US persons either because they’re talking to our foreign targets or in some limited circumstances because we cannot technically separate the communications we’re looking for from others”, Litt explained.

(read more)

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