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Congress calls for change to NSA spying law

tom dial Silver badge

"This program does not just target terrorists. It targets anyone with foreign intelligence value. It could be a completely innocent businessman or anyone else out of the country who has that information."

Well, of course. The purpose of foreign intelligence agencies is to conduct foreign intelligence activities. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in 1978, close to forty years ago and more than twenty years before September 11, 2001. The purpose, in part, was to codify the limits to acceptable foreign intelligence activities. The legal limitations enacted in the FISA, and the laterFISA Amendments Act, were aimed primarily at restricting impact of foreign intelligence activities on US citizens and US legal residents while permitting, as the laws of other nations do, much less restraint on activities that target those who are neither citizens nor legal residents. Terrorism as a significant international concern arose considerably later and represents only a part, probably a small part, of the activity of US foreign intelligence agencies; that that probably is true of most other nations' foreign intelligence agencies as well.

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