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According to latest report, more than 30 technology companies have signed a letter which has been sent to House of Representatives as the companies asked the government to reconsider its policies on surveillance.
The latest report comes as the reform of the Section 702 is expiring later this year. The section is often times used by NSA to support its surveillance programs. As a number of proponents are asking for better transparency in the policies, this letter might serve as a voice for citizens’ privacy.
While there are several issues which have come under scrutiny, the letter has pointed out five key requests for change.
The letter said,
First, reauthorization legislation should codify recent changes made to “about” collection pursuant to NSA’s Upstream program. This reform would merely codify changes already embraced by the U.S. government with the imprimatur of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to correct deficiencies that implicate the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.
Second, reauthorization legislation should require judicial oversight for government queries of the contents of 702 material for the communications of U.S. persons (given that U.S. persons are not the target of 702).
Third, reauthorization legislation should narrow the definition of “foreign intelligence information” under FISA to reduce the likelihood of collecting information about non-U.S. persons who are not suspected of wrongdoing.
Fourth, increasing oversight and transparency of Section 702 collection will improve confidence in both its utility and lawfulness. Companies should be allowed to disclose the number of requests they receive by a legal authority and should be permitted to make more granular disclosures concerning the volume of national security demands that they receive. We also support further declassification of FISC orders.
Finally, there should be greater transparency around how the communications of U.S. persons that are incidentally collected under Section 702 are searched and used, including how often 702 databases are queried using identifiers that are tied to U.S. persons.