New ‘enhanced’ pat-down: TSA agent touches passenger’s crotch 8 TIMES… Surveillance law renewal sparks data collection battle… Sessions, Intel Chief urge prompt passage
I’m not a crazy ACLU-type. I’ve had no problem with body-scanners or previous TSA pat-downs. In 2009, a terrorist famously smuggled a bomb in his underwear aboard a U.S. flight. But an agent of the state should probably only touch a citizen’s genitals seven or eight times if the agent has reasonable suspicion, and not because a machine is malfunctioning or calibrated, intentionally or unintentionally, to detect explosives on everyone who is tested.
The US Justice and Intelligence chiefs on Monday formally asked Congress to renew a crucial surveillance law, setting up a battle with civil libertarians over collection of Americans’ personal data.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are seeking a reauthorization of Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), whose key Section 702 allows the National Security Agency to tap the communications of foreigners located abroad for intelligence purposes.
That power has become crucial, intelligence officials say, in preventing terror attacks and other major threats.
But in that process, critics say, the NSA also scoops up the communications of Americans, violating their privacy rights and leaving the information freely available to other intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Section 702 was passed in 2008 to replace a previously secret and illegal warrantless wiretap program instituted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It gave intelligence agencies the power to tap the phone calls and emails of foreigners located outside the United States carried by US communications companies.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to “promptly” reauthorize a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats also signed the letter (https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Press%20Releases/DOJ2017.pdf), addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
In the letter, addressed Sept. 7 but made public on Monday, Sessions and Coats say Congress must “promptly reauthorize, in clean and permanent form” Section 702 of FISA.
FISA is the legal basis for U.S. surveillance programs, and has faced scrutiny lately after it was revealed Section 702 of the law allowed for the capture of conversations President Trump and his transition team had with foreign officials.
REASON: REIN IN BEFORE TOO LATE…
As former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to the world in 2013, the U.S. government routinely spies on its own citizens.
“I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president,” Snowden told the journalists crowded into his hotel room before the publication of his leaked documents.
The leaks exposed lies from government officials about the mass surveillance of American citizens, with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifying before Congress that the NSA didn’t “wittingly” collect any data on millions of Americans.