FBI and CIA Use “Backdoor Searches” of NSA Data to Warrentlessly Spy on Americans’ Communications

LeakSource

06/30/2014

Mike Masnick/TechDirt:

Last summer, the details of the NSA’s “backdoor searches” were revealed (see also: DNI Clapper Letter to Sen. Wyden Confirms NSA Warrantless Searches of Americans’ Data Using 702 “Backdoor Loophole”. This involved big collections of content and metadata (so, no, not “just metadata” as meaningless as that phrase is) that were collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is part of the program that the infamous PRISM effort operates under, and which allows the NSA to collect all sorts of content, including communications to, from or about a “target” — where a “target” can be incredibly loosely defined (i.e., it can include groups or machines or just about anything). The “backdoor searches” were a special loophole added in 2011 allowing the NSA to make use of “US person names and identifiers as query terms.” In the past, it had been…

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