To the editor:
The House of Representatives recently voted to reauthorized Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was set to expire later this month.
This law was first passed in 2008 to legalize the Bush/Cheney Administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping programs. It purportedly allows the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ communications with people overseas, as long as the NSA is “targeting” the foreigners involved, but as we learned from intelligence agency whistle blowers, massive amounts of data on Americans, including purely domestic communications is also being collected and stored.
The law allows the NSA to obtain your emails and social media posts from U.S. companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo, and consolidates the FBI’s legal authority to search those communications without a warrant. FBI agents may then use those communications in the course of investigating “crimes” unrelated to national security.
Are you OK with Trump and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who oversees the FBI, having access to your personal communications? You may think that the reauthorization of this unconstitutional invasion of privacy could only pass with votes from the Republicans who control the House of Representatives, but you would be mistaken. It passed with the support of 55 House Democrats including our very own Rep. Derek Christian Kilmer.