U.S. Admits Surveillance Violated Civil Rights

The Director of National Intelligence admits in writing that there was at least one occasion when government spying was in violation of civil rights. 

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

Based on a letter received from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. government violated the American people's rights to privacy protected under the Fourth Amendment at least once. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) had been expanded in 2008 due to previous limitations that the Bush Administration believed got in the way of their surveillance following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The National Security Agency bypassed the FISA process entirely because it was thought to be too "cumbersome." FISA was broadened to encompass what the Bush Administration had been secretly doing to collect intelligence on terrorism. Since the expansion in 2008, it is reported that the government has been abusing its new surveillance powers. The public letter confirms the government violated the rights of the American people on at least one occasion. "The American Civil Liberties Union noted in a May letter to lawmakers that there is little in the public record about how the government implements the expanded law."

What’s the Big Idea?

It was admitted by the Director of National Intelligence that the U.S. has been sidestepping the FISA, making "unreasonable searches and surveillances."Reportedly, the law “allows the Intelligence Community to collect vital information about international terrorists and other important targets overseas while providing robust protection for the civil liberties and privacy of Americans.” But how robust can it be, if such surveillances are in violation of the people’s rights?

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