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FBI Gets Green Flag For Unlimited Warrant less Searches

The United States government is using warrant less searches along with secret requests for information, and these requests and searches keep growing in numbers.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a transparency report this week showing the number of warrant less searches has doubled between 2013 and 2015. The intelligence community vacuums up millions of communications from Internet foundations running in and out of the country, and information from Google, Apple and Microsoft, just to name a few. The NSA stores this information, in what is known as the 702 database.

Being authorized by Section 702, the NSA targets each non U.S. person believe to possess, or likely to communicate or receive foreign intelligence information. The DNI report shows the number of queries by the NSA using search terms involving a U.S. person started at 2,100 in 2013, and went to 4,672 in 2015.

“The number of back door searches doubling since last reported shows that warrant less Section 702 surveillance is a significant and growing problem for Americans,” Jake Laperruque a privacy advocate working at the Constitution Project told the Intercept.

Not only all this, but the searches on American’s meta data jumped up as well. This went from 9,500 in 2013, to a reported 23,800 in 2015. These numbers do not include searches done by the CIA or other government organizations, just the NSA alone. Even though the 702 database was created to track foreign security risk, the FISC ruled that the database is only incidentally collected information on American citizens, and th FBI is allowed to conduct an unlimited amount of warrant less searches.

The Freedom Act surveillance corrections passed in 2015 exempted the FBI from full disclosure of how many searches the 702 database has, and the agency has never released even one estimate.

“There is every reason to believe the number of FBI searches exceeds those of the CIA and NSA,” Project on Government Oversight wrote last year.

People like Senator Ron Wyden have denounced these back door searches of Americans.

“If intelligence officials are deliberately searching for and reading the communications of specific Americans, the Constitution requires a warrant,” Wyden said.

For years the lawmakers have been asking for details about FBI activities, but have yet to see anything. Its said that next year the surveillance programs authorized under Section 702, specifically PRISM and Upstream are up to be renewed by congress, while 14 members of the House Committee sent a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence asking for an estimate.

“To many, what has been made legal is a severe violation of American’s constitutional rights, from the right to privacy to the requirement for due cause for government intrusion tot he Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure,” InfoWorld’s Galen Gruman writes.

“There ae serious ongoing problems with government hacking that this change will only exacerbate. So much of this is in the dark,” Chief Technologist for the Center for Democracy and Technology Joseph Lorenzo Hall told TechCrunch.

10 comments

  1. Born in the USA!

    It’s great to see the US government running out of money! Watch the US debt increase real-time here:

    http://www.usdebtclock.org

    When that little oil bubble in the Dakotas finally bursts, the US economy will plummet. I can’t wait! Less money for the FBI fuckers and the other bastard TLAs!!!

    Breakout the popcorn!!!!!!!!!!!

    • *facepalm*

      Economics has nothing to do with this. People have been talking about America going bankrupts for decades, so lets talk about things that are real and happening soon.

      They want to pass this bill which will make running illegal servers on tor a thing of the past. Some have already said they’re moving to i2p, not realizing that rule41 isn’t exclusive to tor. This is horrible news for people running illegal servers on tor/i2p or users of Freenet as it gives the FBI open powers to hack you and remotely search your computer. There is some harsh reality going on here.

      • Anonymous

        Your comments seem to imply that the FBI can break into any computer that the Bureau wants to; in fact, recent world news proved that such was NOT the case, as the FBI had to spend a million bucks to get at non-encrypted data on an iPhone that was only protected by a screen password.

        All the exploits that the FBI have used have involved JavaScript or the Flash application, which Chrome is now going to disable entirely in their browser. If you are a Windows-using (or, even, a Linux) dope who is willing to click on a flash video, ignoring the explicit warnings that the Tor Browser gives us, then you deserve to rot in the pokey.

        Use the highest security settings that the Tor Browser offers and you’ll likely be fine. “Time will tell” on that one, of course. It always pays to have a “Plan B”.

        • Anonymouse

          We don’t know what they have and what they don’t. Don’t forget the thing they want most is to change laws to let them do whatever they want. So if they had 50 iphone lock code bypass exploits, they might not use any of them if they can get laws changed to force companies to help them. We also don’t know what their current NIT is. Mozilla has assumed its a vulnerability in their browser but the FBI has kept tight lipped and not said a word as usual. Also we don’t know how many of those NITs they have. They might have found an exploit in the actual tor network (like the CMU exploit). No hardened OS is going to protect from that kind of attack.

          Did you even read this article? Its game over for people administrating/hosting or participating in anything illegal on tor. Drug sites? Yes. Child porn sites? Yes. Piracy sites? Well, technically yes but they’re not going to waste time on those unless they really want to prove a point. Look how radically tor changed after they busted Freeddom Hosting? Its not clean because of all the drug sites, but its massively cleaner than it used to be. Tor never recovered from that attack, and the attacks just keeping coming as the FBI’s powers get expanded.

          • Anonymous

            Right now take a long look on the right hand side of your screen and scroll carefully. Tell me what you see.

            • Anonymous

              Done. Now please read the article and use basic reasoning skills to figure out what will happen soon if this law is passed.

            • The_Genious

              Anonymouse is saying if rule 41 passes, people will only need a short glimpse to see all the sites listed on the right hand side of your screen. Meaning the cops will have everything the need to legally hack and shutdown the sites. The article content is very straight forward about how few limits the cops have now with getting warrants, what do you expect will happen when they get unlimited warrants and unlimited hacking restrictions? Bye bye illegal sites.

              • More like “bye bye freedom of expression”, “bye bye due process”, “bye bye freedom of association” and “bye bye any website that critiques the government”. The terrorists won. We have no more freedoms for them to hate us for.

  2. Correction to the shills above

    Not “bye bye illegal sites”. Rather, “bye bye any sites that are in any way critical of the US government”.

  3. I think anybody who runs TOR should be arrested. People accessing the dark web are after child porn, snuff videos, hacking into banks, or they are terrorists such as ISIS or the Drug Cartel using the dark web to sell dope.

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