UK-USA: DATA SURVEILLANCE: The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power


"That law [Fisa Amendments Act 2008] permits the government to monitor Americans' international communications without first obtaining individualized court orders or establishing any suspicion of wrongdoing.It's hardly surprising that the government believes the 2008 law is constitutional – government officials advocated for its passage six years ago, and they have been vigorously defending the law ever since. Documents made public over the last eleven-and-a-half months by the Guardian and others show that the NSA has been using the law aggressively.

What's surprising – even remarkable – is what the government says on the way to its conclusion. It says, in essence, that the Constitution is utterly indifferent to the NSA's large-scale surveillance of Americans' international telephone calls and emails:

The privacy rights of US persons in international communications are significantly diminished, if not completely eliminated, when those communications have been transmitted to or obtained from non-US persons located outside the United States. That phrase – "if not completely eliminated" – is unusually revealing. Think of it as the Justice Department's twin to the NSA's "collect it all"."


See the full article: The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power - One year after Snowden, the government is defending – in not-so-plain sight – the 'paramount' power to spy on every call and email between you and your friends abroad (Guardian, link) by Jameel Jaffer

And see: Court documents (pdf).

And background: Statewatch analysis: GCHQ is authorised to “spy on the world” but the UK Interception of Communications Commissioner says this is OK as it is “lawful” (pdf)

 

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