Do you think the NSA and FBI should be able to access your communications without a warrant or even suspicion of wrongdoing?
If the answer is no (which we hope that it is) then you should be deeply troubled about Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Section 702 is used by the government to justify the interception, collection, and storage of US persons’ online communications. It is the law at the root of Prism and Upstream, the mass surveillance programs exposed by Edward Snowden.
But there’s good news. Section 702 is set to sunset at the end of this year.
Once gathered in NSA databases, domestic law enforcement agents (including the FBI) can conduct google-like searches of US persons communications. These “backdoor searches” are conducted without a warrant or even any suspicion of wrongdoing. This is a clear dodge around the Fourth Amendment.
We have a chance to rein in mass surveillance, by demanding Congress support serious reforms of Section 702, like requiring a warrant to access our communications or preventing such communications from being swept up and stored in a database in the first place.
If these reforms aren’t made, then Congress must let it sunset.