Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A backdoor in the US constitution

One of the core allegations of the NSALeaks is that the NSA has been unconstitutionally spying on Americans on a massive scale. And now, they've confirmed it:

US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has used a "back door" in surveillance law to perform warrantless searches on Americans’ communications.

The NSA's collection programs are ostensibly targeted at foreigners, but in August the Guardian revealed a secret rule change allowing NSA analysts to search for Americans' details within the databases.

Now, in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the intelligence committee, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has confirmed for the first time the use of this legal authority to search for data related to “US persons”.

Spying on people's communications without a warrant is a prima facie breach of the 4th Amendment. But when you have a private kangaroo "court" where no-one is legally allowed to represent your victims, I guess its easy to get approval even for this sort of abuse.