The earlier deadline for the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has been extended from December 31, 2017 to April 26, 2018. Under Section 702, the N.S.A. and F.B.I. may collect information such as phone calls, emails, texts, and other electronic messages of foreigners abroad from domestic companies like AT&T and Google without a warrant, even when they talk with Americans. The program has expanded to a broad array of foreign intelligence purposes, not just counterterrorism. On the eve of a Congressional hearing in which director of the FBI Christopher Wray was pointedly asked about the agency’s use of information “incidentally” gathered on US citizens, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence suddenly revealed that the security services believe they can continue to operate the program for four months beyond the law’s expiration at the end of the year. According to Brian Hale, spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the NSA can continue running its spy program until its one-year certification from the FISC runs out. Since it was last authorized on April 26, 2017, that means, Hale claimed, that it is valid until April 26, 2018. The […]
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