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US Senators Concerned With Surveillance Bill "Loophole" 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-have-a-look dept.
zer0point writes "The law lets U.S. agencies monitor the communications of foreigners outside the U.S. But two senators are questioning whether a loophole allows the storage and search of messages from Americans that are picked up inadvertently while foreigners are being monitored. The intelligence community has repeatedly said it takes steps to minimize the data collected on Americans. Among the senators’ concerns: that the administration hasn’t been able to estimate how many people in the U.S. have had their information reviewed under the program."
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US Senators Concerned With Surveillance Bill "Loophole"

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  • Ron Wyden (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoKaOi (1415755) on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:37PM (#40289821)

    When I clicked on the article I was wholly unsurprised to find Ron Wyden was one of the senators. Every time there's something in the news about a bit of sanity coming from a senator, it seems to have Ron Wyden's name. It's encouraging that there's a senator like that out there, but it's discouraging that it's only 1% of them. I wish we could get one or two of those for my state.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:38PM (#40289841)

    It is the natural order of things for people in charge to want MORE power, not less. They are not about to give-up the ability to record Americans conversations. In fact the current government is stone-walling Congress not just on this issue (how many messages were caught "accidentally"), but also the gun-running program into Mexico.

    Congressman: "I have an email here that says you were aware of the program. It's addressed to you."
    Holder: "That refers to the previous Wide Receiver program under Bush."
    Congressman: "Uh no, the email says right here, and I quote, 'Fast&Furious'. That would be under President Obama's and your watch."
    Holder: "The email is wrong. It was Bush." :-o

  • I'm concerned (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:42PM (#40289855)
    with the fact that they are not concerned with the rights of people outside the Holy Land of the United States of America. Typical.
  • What...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:42PM (#40289859)

    But two senators are questioning whether a loophole allows the storage and search of messages from Americans that are picked up inadvertently while foreigners are being monitored. The intelligence community has repeatedly said it takes steps to minimize the data collected on Americans.

    What does that 2nd sentence even mean and why was it included? Either they are allowed, which case no need to minimize the data on Americans or they are not allowed to. "Taking steps to minimize" means nothing quantifiable (up to 100% reduced!).
    Even assuming I trust everyone here, that is still a totally meaningless and irrelevant statement included in the article.

  • Re:Ron Wyden (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @05:56PM (#40289985)

    Don't forget Bernie Sanders. I first learned of him back in the 90's when I would watch C-SPAN. Every single vote they ever held I would see the I-Yea, or I-Nea exactly as I would have voted. I later learned that the "I" was Bernie Sanders.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya.gmail@com> on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:00PM (#40290017)

    I personally don't see the huge issue with this, unless we are seeing a rash of prosecutions based on such evidence.

    "We have sought repeatedly to gain an understanding of how many Americans have had their phone calls or emails collected and reviewed under this statute, but we have not been able to obtain even a rough estimate of this number," Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado wrote ... The senators said in the report that the Director of National Intelligence had told them it was not feasible to come up with such a number.

    If nothing else, I worry that even the few senators who may be interested in protecting American rights are blatantly snubbed by the CIA when trying to do so. That doesn't concern you?

  • by jon_doh2.0 (2097642) on Monday June 11, 2012 @06:48PM (#40290375)
    Oh no, god forbid "Americans" are subject to the same treatment as that which they mete out. The self perceived exceptionalism of the US is so jarring, created equal indeed.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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