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?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less