back to article FBI: Give us warrantless Section 702 snooping powers – or China wins

The FBI's latest PR salvo, as it fights to preserve its warrantless snooping powers on Americans via FISA Section 702, is more big talk of cyberattacks by the Chinese government. During a US House subcommittee meeting last week on cyber threats from Beijing, FBI boss Christopher Wray told lawmakers that "702 is the greatest …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    > I can assure the American people, the Chinese government is not tying its hands behind its back.

    Erm, that's what makes them the bad guys.

    1. OhForF' Silver badge

      When China is allowed to snoop on its own citizens and americans why should the FBI not be allowed to do the same?

      Obviously american law enforcement and other snooping agencies are still the good guys (tm) as they only do that to protect us. /s

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "extreme cases of misuse — especially from the FBI,"

        yeah, no.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Hey, the boot on your neck is for your own protection.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The End is Nigh and Arrives Fast in Crashes and Rushes Travelling This Path to Nowhere Good :-)

    Whenever the world and its dogs of war realise the following quote of you, are all chances of redemption and free future cooperation lost because naturally be you more the moronic barbarian and ignorant enemy than wiser caring friend and valued ally....

    "A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it's going to get.” ..... lan Williams Goddard

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: The End is Nigh and Arrives Fast in Crashes and Rushes Travelling This Path to Nowhere Good :-)

      Trump's America.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warrantless snooping powers

    I thought they already had warrantless snooping powers. If not the FBI then other branches of the state security apparatus. Maybe the FBI is feeling left out.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Warrantless snooping powers

      They have those powers but they have to be periodically re-authorised. All your favourite invasive acts, like PATRIOT and Protect are FISA reviews and re-authorisations.

      FISA was originally sold as a way to ensure agencies better respected people's rights. In the event, it not only empowered them to do more but the reviews, rather than curtailing even more invasive activities, ended up as rubber stamping exercises with a side of some agencies revealing that even following FISA was too much hassle and getting it ammended for their convinience.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Warrantless snooping powers

      Sounds about right. It amazes me that many Americans deny this. It also amazes me that they throw tantrums if any government department sneaks a peak at them but roll over and let G00gle, Amazon et al spy on them at will. Amazing.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    All you really need to know .... for there’s nothing you can do about it to mitigate it.

    No secrets are safe and secure from discovery and third party stealthy exploit and universal dissemination. Get used to it. It is the way things just are.

    The best that humanities can hope for in ongoing and future realities is that stealthy third parties know how to best use the resultant total information awareness more intelligently than the blunt tool of a savant fool.

    Do you recognise that as the present state of your current existence .... and would you consider it more of an existential threat than almighty treat and exotic alien confection ..... and something much better engaged with rather than saddened and even possibly enraged with crazy worthless self-destructive opposition and inactive competition?

    And if it be known that a mighty few do, and realise it able to be enabled a flexible dynamic variable state of virtual reality for any selected universal activity/globalised human program, what would you like them to do for you ...... should they be inclined to do so of course?

  5. codejunky Silver badge


    Who would trust the FBI after their exposed conduct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ha

      MAGAnon follower says who?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    better off disbanding

    better off disbanding the corrupt org and creating smaller separate orgs to prevent large scale corruption that the fbi is now.

  8. teebie

    "Wray cited an example he's used previously about how, last year, Section 702 of America's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allowed the FBI to observe Chinese government snoops trying to break into an unnamed US transportation hub and take action."

    Did he cite a reason that they couldn't have asked for a warrant to observe the spooks?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      "But Mom, I don't wanna ask FISC for a secret, sweeping, vaguely-supported warrant!"

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    Different era, same story

    The writers of the Constitution specifically put warrants required and their condition in the Constitution for a reason.

  10. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The rules

    The crooks don't have no rules, they have rules that are different. There's not going to be a law that says a retail location can't install an alarm, so the crooks have to find a way to defeat the alarm or do the deed faster than the police can arrive. In the US, it was often people of Asian decent that had to score higher on college placement exams to be admitted to the university they wanted to attend. So they did. They adapted to the rules and overcame them.

    The FBI was supposed to be an elite law enforcement agency that held their agents to much higher standards such are requiring a relevant college degree (gender studies was not suitable). They were given greater resources such as technical labs to be able to surveil suspects much better, defeat encryption and jamming, etc. From the days of J. Edgar they've been amassing files on everybody they can and these days have computing and data storage centers dedicated to that. It's seems that over time the FBI has become fat, stupid, lazy and greedy. They cry that they can't do their job without trampling people's rights that were protected at the time the country was declared principally due to those rights being so important.

    The right to privacy is not an absolute. A law enforcement agency can bring evidence to a judge to get a warrant that allows an exception if the judge agrees that it would be proper to abridge that entities privacy. I see it as a problem is that's done in private. A big tenant of the US legal system is the defendant has the right to come face to face with their accuser and see the evidence that the accuser has against them. A secret court is anathema to that.

    The department of Homemade security was supposed to bring together the various intelligence and law enforcement agencies to better combat crime and terrorism. If they still can't act effectively, perhaps they should do some house cleaning and let people go until they can do the job without needing to trample rights.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The rules and a very good, legitimate reason for breaking/ignoring them

      Crooked rules lead earnest ignorant legislation to permit and support undesirable regulation overseeing the overlooking of dishonest and deadly practices which surprisingly quickly on the travels towards and in the travails near the end of their goals, suddenly and quite spontaneously without any evident prior warning, prove themselves to be for both regulator and supporter alike, catastrophically self-destructive. Thus are they gravely to be regarded and diligently avoided as if a plague.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Immaculately Resourced Assets BetaTesting Universal Virulent Forces

        And they [any and all crooked rules] are also as a pressing spur empowering ennobling, overwhelmingly effective successful opposition and/or competition to/from otherworldly forces and sources drivering fundamental future regimental changes ........ although it is a fatal mistake to make and stupid folly to assume and presume the one requires the other if either dealing in, or dealing with, any or all of the New Troubles ahead ‽ .

  11. BPontius

    Can't be trusted!

    The FBI has repeatedly shown it can not be trusted to behave without court oversight (excluding FISA court), they have spent years repeatedly abusing the FISA database for unauthorized and illegal searches on Americans. The NSA is hardly much better. China was hacking the U.S before 9/11 and the FBI wasn't crying foul over warrants, new laws have removed the blocks that were preventing interagency and intra agency sharing of intel. Showing probable cause they can get a warrant signed digitally nowadays from a any judge to search anywhere, thanks to new laws not related to Section 702 spying. They won't produce evidence of how Section 702 has prevented terrorists attacks, certainly didn't prevent Boston marathon bombers, shoe bomber, any of the school shooting suspects (domestic terrorists) with many of these people on watch and wanted lists. Let Section 702 die a horrible twitching death!!

  12. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge


    ... that vacuum cleaning is called "hoovering" not because of the brand, but because of the FBI HQ name...

    And that the best argument the FBI forgot to mention is that if they are not allowed to hoover everything at their leisure is that then they'll have to buy the data from GAFAM and other companies, and that the money will have to be diverted from what was intended to be spent on Medicare/Medicaid/infrastructure/bridges ...

  13. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    As Foreseen

    We've always been at war with Oceania China.

    Have some Victory Gin, and speak clearly into your Internet-connected Smart TV --->

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