Friday, April 28, 2017

NSA, You're So Fluffy I Could Die

N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency said Friday that it had halted one of the most disputed practices of its warrantless surveillance program, ending a once-secret form of wiretapping that dates to the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 expansion of national security powers.

The agency is no longer collecting Americans’ emails and texts exchanged with people overseas that simply mention identifying terms — like email addresses — for foreigners whom the agency is spying on, but are neither to nor from those targets.

The decision is a major development in American surveillance policy. Privacy advocates have argued that the practice skirted or overstepped the Fourth Amendment.
[Okay, I can give credit where credit is due, if STOPPING BREAKING THE LAW is credit.]

"Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the Intelligence Committee and has long been an outspoken critic of what he saw as N.S.A. overreach, hailed the decision and said he would offer legislation to codify the new limit in federal law

“This change ends a practice that allowed Americans’ communications to be collected without a warrant merely for mentioning a foreign target,” Mr. Wyden said. “For years, I’ve repeatedly raised concerns that this amounted to an end run around the Fourth Amendment. This transparency should be commended.”
"Until 2013, [the worst year of my life] it was not publicly known that the equipment installed on network switches was systematically sifting all cross-border internet traffic and sending to the N.S.A. messages containing such a targeted email address anywhere — not just emails to or from targets, but also between other people who talk about them.
On Friday, Mr. Snowden wrote on Twitter that “the truth changed everything.”

He also called the change “likely the most substantive of the post-2013 NSA reforms, if the principle is applied to all other programs.” However, there was no indication that the N.S.A. intended to cease this type of collection abroad, where legal limits set by the Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act largely do not apply.

Okay, an UNQUALIFIED GOOD! My son says this is a "massive win." It earns the Wyden-Snowden seal of approval, it gets PUBLOCC's. Way to go NSA! Thank you!