back to article Someone else has a go at reforming US Section 702 spying powers – and nope, no warrant requirement

Some US lawmakers have tabled alternative legislation to reauthorize the Feds' favorite snooping tool, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, before it expires at the end of the year. But unlike a rival surveillance reform proposal unveiled earlier this month, the legislation introduced on Tuesday by US …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "that won't happen without meaningful reforms"

    Indeed. So make a meaningful reform, and not this patsy of an excuse for one. Getting authorization from an FBI attorney ? Yeah, that's going to be a real hurdle. Why not just ask the janitor while you're at it ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misdirection again....

    Everything from everybody is being scanned!

    The "warrants" question is just misdirection!

    I recommend a "burner" phone with the SIM changed regularly.

    I recommend all messaging be triple-encrypted with no public keys (see Diffie/Helman for details)


    The snoops at Fort Meade (or Cheltenham) can scan away.......they will need REALLY powerful quantum computers to read my chatter with my buddies!

    In fact, they may not even be able to find out who my buddies are!!

  3. Scott 26

    > Additionally, the bill requires FBI agents to secure approval from their superiors for any query term that could be "reasonably believed" to identify a US elected official, political candidate, or appointee, US journalists, or religious leaders.

    But everyone else is fair game....

    1. Neoc

      Any Bill, in any government, that exempts politicians, elected officials and the like should immediately be taken to the back of the shed and put down. If it's good enough for the people, it should be good enough for them. After all "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear", right?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Funnily enough banking laws here specifically call out politicians, lawyers, judges and the like - you have to declare it when you open an account

        I thought it was to give them extra security, keep their home address anonymous etc but it's because they are much more likely to be receiving large suspicious deposits of cash that the authorities might be interested in

  4. Falmari Silver badge

    Batshit logic

    "To establish probable cause to obtain a warrant, the government would have to show that the subject of the query is 'an agent of a foreign power,' which is not possible where that person is a victim or someone the government is trying to protect."

    "A requirement to establish probable cause and obtain a warrant or court order before conducting a US person query of Section 702 data would effectively prevent the government from protecting the American people,"

    That's some serious batshit logic. Sure it would not be possible to obtain a warrant if the person is a victim or someone they are trying to protect. But if that is the case they have no need of a warrant, they could just inform the person of the situation and ask them for permission to search. The ones that refuse permission have made the choice to not accept the government's protection in that particular instance.

    That's how it works for domestic crime*. If law enforcement think someone is the victim of crime they tell them and are required to ask permission to search. So why should 'foreign' be any different?


    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Batshit logic

      In a bill sponsored by two Trump lapdogs and the senator from Langley? I'm shocked.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Batshit logic

        > senator from Langley

        He's got to be the most surveilled individual on the planet - his browser history is probably scrolling on the ticker in the CIA lobby

  5. Reginald O.
    Big Brother

    The Cookie Jar

    The government must victimize us to prevent us from being victimized by foreign agents. Sure.

    FBI pried open the cookie jar of NSA data during the 9-11 frenzy and they are not going to allow the lid to be put back on willingly.

    Or, as required by the law, or anything else, apparently.

    And, neither will Congress.

    So much for upholding the spirit, intent and indeed letter of the law and our Constitution.

    It's best not to think this episode through to it's logical conclusion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Cookie Jar

      And has there been a major terrorist incident by foreigners since 9/11 - no ?

      Have their been major terrorist incidents by citizens - yes ?

      So we need to concentrate on spying on US citizens (although not necessarily the ones with the same skin color as those doing the attacks)

  6. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    Law enforcement "powers" intended to be used against evil foreigners are instead used by the government against their own citizens. Gee, humanity has never seen that done before!

    Why do we keep working so hard to ignore the painful lessons of history?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Shocking!

      >Why do we keep working so hard to ignore the painful lessons of history?

      We do, we have learnt that if you don't keep an eye on your own citizens all sorts of bad things can happen to an autocracy

      1. Marty McFly Silver badge

        Re: Shocking!

        I didn't get your comment until I refreshed my memory on "autocracy".

        Yes, a new keyboard please!

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