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Congress Just Temporarily Extended the Government’s Spying Powers .

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Offline sr john

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21  November  2019  .

Congress today temporarily extended the NSA’s spying powers that time and again have been used to violate our rights. Disturbingly, this three-month extension was snuck into a broader funding bill, forcing members of Congress to choose between extending this program and causing a government shutdown. The extension is an unnecessary lifeline to spying programs that are plagued with compliance violations, have no proven intelligence value, and violate our rights .

Under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, one of the spying powers extended, the government believes it has the right to collect our personal information merely if it is deemed relevant to a terrorism or counterintelligence investigation — a standard much lower than the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause warrant requirement. This can include virtually any business record, including mental health records, DNA information, tax returns, books, videos, call records, financial data, and much more. One of the government’s legal justifications for this power is its false claim that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t protect our information if it is stored or held by a third party such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, a hospital, or an accountant .

This legal argument is not only outdated — it’s absurd .

In today’s digital world, vast amounts of our most intimate data are held by third parties. Telephone carriers can track virtually everywhere we have been. Internet service providers log every website we visit. And tech companies have a record of every text or email we send. The records held by these companies can reveal how often we go to church, seek mental health treatment, or even purchase junk food . 

Given this reality  and the NSA’s history of abusing Section 215  this authority should not be reauthorized unless Congress can enact substantial and meaningful reforms to protect our rights .

https://www.aclu.org/news/national-security/congress-just-temporarily-extended-the-governments-spying-powers/?initms_aff=nat&initms_chan=soc&utm_medium=soc&initms=191121_privacy_technology_fb&utm_source=fb&utm_campaign=privacy_technology&utm_content=191121&ms_aff=nat&ms_chan=soc&ms=191121_privacy_technology_fb .


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