As if they didn’t have enough support from the government already.
The Fisa Improvements Act, promoted by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, would both implement a permanent a loophole permitting the NSA to search for Americans identifying information without a warrant, and, civil libertarians fear, contains an ambiguity that might allow the FBI, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies to use the same channels for their own nefarious purposes.
“For the first time, the statute would explicitly allow the government to proactively search through the NSA data troves of information without a warrant,” said Michelle Richardson, the surveillance lobbyist for the ACLU.
“It may also expand current practices by allowing law enforcement to directly access US person information that was nominally collected for foreign intelligence purposes. This fourth amendment back door needs to be closed, not written into stone.”
Passing through the initial committee hearing with an 11-4 victory, the bill would expand the immense power already held by federal agencies such as the FBI, NSA, and CIA, as well as extending the same privilege to smaller operations undertaken by local and state law enforcement.
What’s troubling about this is that instead of curtailing the government’s ability to spy on citizens both domestic and abroad, it actually expands these privileges and seeks to keep them even more secret from the same people who are having their basic human right to privacy violated. In a time where it’s more important than ever to seek out transparency with our governments and equal footing to work together for a solution, backroom deals like these are being undertaken in order to keep the public in control, under informed, and perhaps most frighteningly — desensitized to the concept of having their entire digital lives recorded and analyzed by a state gone Big Brother and then some.
Of course, not all hope is lost. This bill was introduced as a direct competitor to another proposition raised by Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont, which would actually restrict the use of warrantless wiretaps, making it more difficult for the NSA to wiretap lines without an extensive approval process standing in their way first. As long as we have people fighting for our rights in Congress, VPN providers like VyprVPN will be able to continue to provide their current and future users with the same excellent level of service and dedication we’ve come to expect from one of the best anonymity avengers in the business!