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Nobody listening? NSA agents don't need specific warrants to target individuals, says Greenwald

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nsa (chris hardle flickr)
nsa (chris hardle flickr)

Over the past two weeks, the US government has insisted that its powers under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act require the NSA to get a "special, particularized order" from the FISA court to intercept an individual American’s communications. Analyzing both the law on the books and NSA documents, Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian concludes that in practice, the FISA Amendments Act allows the NSA to cast a much wider net, and that once the NSA secures FISA court approval, the decisions about which communications to "task" fall on individual analysts and their supervisors at the NSA. Further, while the government has argued that Section 702 is designed strictly to intercept foreign communications, NSA documentation indicates that captured correspondence between US citizens can still have intelligence value, and procedures are in place for filing, analyzing, and disseminating so-called "domestic communications."