The Guardian’s latest scoop concerns the ability of National Security Agency analysts to search vast databases of emails, online chats, and web browsing histories, among other online activity.
Glenn Greenwald notes that the NSA is lawfully required to obtain a FISA warrant if the target of surveillance is a U.S. person. But it provides analysts “the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant,” he reports, and to reveal IP addresses of everyone who visits “any website the analyst specifies.”
That alarms many Americans.
The Guardian article doesn’t provide any evidence of NSA analysts targeting U.S. persons without a warrant, as critics of the newspaper are quick to note. Yet there is still ample reason to worry.
It is naive — in fact, it is absurd — to imagine that the scores or hundreds of NSA analysts given access to these databases will never commit abuses.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]