Congress Pushes Spy Agencies to Reveal Extent of U.S. surveillance

Posted May 11, 2016 at 6:47am

Military Times reports that “Intelligence officials have tried to assuage concerns of Congress and others by saying that any domestic communications collected are ‘incidental’ to the targeting of foreigners. They say Section 702 allows the government to target only non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. They say the law explicitly bars the government from targeting a foreigner to acquire the communications of an American or someone in the U.S. But they say intelligence agencies are authorized under Section 702 to query communications made with U.S. persons under certain cases with certain approvals.”  

“Late last month, Clapper said intelligence agencies are looking into several options for providing an estimate and will do their best to come up with a number.”  

The piece continues: “Even Congress acknowledges that producing an estimate could require reviewing actual emails, for instance, acquired under Section 702, which itself could raise privacy concerns. But lawmakers say they are only advocating a ‘one-time, limited sampling’ of communications.”