FBI director warns that losing controversial Section 702 surveillance powers would be...

midian182

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In a nutshell: The head of the FBI has warned that without the surveillance powers granted to the agency by Section 702, agents may not be able to stop the next major cyberattack from the likes of Iran or China. Director Christopher Wray says such a scenario would be "absolutely devastating."

Speaking to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (via The Reg), Wray called Section 702 one of the FBI's most important tools and said it was vital that lawmakers don't allow its authorization to lapse.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was introduced in 2008 on national security grounds. It allows FBI agents to spy on overseas electronic communications, such as emails, phone calls, and texts.

Wray previously said that virtually all (97%) of the FBI's technical intelligence on malicious cyber actors in the first half of 2023 was obtained via Section 702 searches.

The FISA amendment is set to expire at the end of the year, something that has Wray worried. "…with everything going on in the world, imagine if a foreign terrorist overseas directs an operative to carry out an attack in our own backyard, but we're not able to disrupt it because the FBI's authorities have been so watered down," said the FBI director. "So I'm happy to talk more about all the things the FBI has done to make sure we are good stewards of our vital 702 authorities."

Section 702 has faced plenty of criticism, especially as US persons who may have had contact with overseas targets being surveilled can find their own communications monitored by the FBI.

Back in 2019, a top-secret ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) deemed that the FBI had violated the Fourth Amendment rights of tens of thousands of US citizens. Documents showed the feds had inappropriately used Section 702 to gain certifications to search a surveillance database maintained by the National Security Agency. Agents accessed information on US citizens, including emails, phone numbers, and other identifying information.

702 has also been used in thousands of instances to conduct warrantless surveillance on people in the US, including protesters, campaign donors, and elected officials.

While many in Congress are split over Section 702, the Biden administration said letting it expire would be "one of the worst intelligence failures of our time," and is urging lawmakers to reauthorize it without new and operationally damaging restrictions.

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Of course they're needing this renewed - even Biden sees that we need this in today's modern world.. because everyone else is doing it too.
 
Of course they're needing this renewed - even Biden sees that we need this in today's modern world.. because everyone else is doing it too.

Hunh..?
The world doesn't have the United States Constitution, the USA does. This is an issue of Government Agency stepping on the rights of it's citizens, for a fake cause. Because they can use oversight to get actual data & infometrics they need.



 
Hunh..?
The world doesn't have the United States Constitution, the USA does. This is an issue of Government Agency stepping on the rights of it's citizens, for a fake cause. Because they can use oversight to get actual data & infometrics they need.
I have mixed feelings on this. Iran and China have never posed a bigger threat to the world than they do now and we do have an on going war in the digital space with both of them.

That said, if this was used for its intended purpose and within the bounds of the law, I'm mostly fine with it. The thing is, it's not being used that way.

What we really have to take home from this is not whether or not it's right, it's whether or not we know about it. Agencies will do what they're doing to get this information whether they're allowed to or not, atleast this way we know about it and can monitor them.

That's the real take away.
 
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Hunh..?
The world doesn't have the United States Constitution, the USA does. This is an issue of Government Agency stepping on the rights of it's citizens, for a fake cause. Because they can use oversight to get actual data & infometrics they need.
Not sure where the world-view of the Constitution came from... But alright.

The cause is far from fake (as outlined in the article above) and as far as stepping on the rights of it's citizens... You must severely misunderstand how much spying every country of the world who's able to, does to each other. It's alot, and it will always happen, that's reality.
 
Hunh..?
The world doesn't have the United States Constitution, the USA does. This is an issue of Government Agency stepping on the rights of it's citizens, for a fake cause. Because they can use oversight to get actual data & infometrics they need.
The US constitution does not apply to citizens of foreign countries. That's why illegal immigrants can be deported simply because they are not legal US citizens.

Any US citizen doing business with a foreign counter, especially a hostile foreign country, should expect this since there already are laws preventing US companies/citizens from exporting high-tech goods to certain countries deemed threats to the US. If you think we should ignore the possibility of threats from these countries, then I'd argue that an ostrich might agree with you, but I don't think anyone wanting a secure US would agree with you.

I'm sure you want China to buy Nvidia GPUs or AMD cpus so that they can use them to build better nuclear weapons, right?
 
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Not sure where the world-view of the Constitution came from... But alright.

The cause is far from fake (as outlined in the article above) and as far as stepping on the rights of it's citizens... You must severely misunderstand how much spying every country of the world who's able to, does to each other. It's alot, and it will always happen, that's reality.
There is a massive difference with a Government agency unconstitutionally spying on you... and spying on you with a warrant...

We are saying do it legally and if you don't.... we throw the Constitution at you.


Lastly (& again), nobody in America cares about what Other countries are doing to spy on their citizens (what the rest of the world is doing is not the bar for US Citizens). The FBI is a United States Agency...
 
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The US constitution does not apply to citizens of foreign countries. That's why illegal immigrants can be deported simply because they are not legal US citizens.

Any US citizen doing business with a foreign counter, especially a hostile foreign country, should expect this since there already are laws preventing US companies/citizens from exporting high-tech goods to certain countries deemed threats to the US. If you think we should ignore the possibility of threats from these countries, then I'd argue that an ostrich might agree with you, but I don't think anyone wanting a secure US would agree with you.

I'm sure you want China to buy Nvidia GPUs or AMD cpus so that they can use them to build better nuclear weapons, right?

This is about FBI unconstitutionally spying on it's own citizens... without a WARRANT. They can already do everything you are talking about if the FBI present a "sealed case" to a district judge and gets a signature for warrant...!

Not just on a whim... without oversight.


This law only applies to Citizens and warrantless seizure of information. FBI can already surveil and spy on foreign exchanges without a warrant.
 
There is a massive difference with a Government agency unconstitutionally spying on you... and spying on you with a warrant...

We are saying do it legally and if you don't.... we throw the Constitution at you.


Lastly (& again), nobody in America cares about what Other countries are doing to spy on their citizens (what the rest of the world is doing is not the bar for US Citizens). The FBI is a United States Agency...
And I'm telling you the spying is happening both American citizens and foreigners, domestic and abroad.. regardless.

This is 2023, if you truly believe that there's anything you can do to prevent the FBI/NSA from collecting both domestic and international data from citizens *everywhere* and *anywhere*, then you may want to take off the rose-tinted glasses.

Off the books surveillance happens all the time, and whether a three-letter agency has the "legal authority" to do so, they will regardless. That's my entire point. Lobbying for them to play by the rules is pointless, all data can be surveyed under the clause of "national security", as one fine example.
 
And I'm telling you the spying is happening both American citizens and foreigners, domestic and abroad.. regardless.

This is 2023, if you truly believe that there's anything you can do to prevent the FBI/NSA from collecting both domestic and international data from citizens *everywhere* and *anywhere*, then you may want to take off the rose-tinted glasses.

Off the books surveillance happens all the time, and whether a three-letter agency has the "legal authority" to do so, they will regardless. That's my entire point. Lobbying for them to play by the rules is pointless, all data can be surveyed under the clause of "national security", as one fine example.

You are saying... just because they do it, it is legal.... ?


We the People are saying, that it doesn't matter what Agency are, you MUST FOLLOW the laws given to your agency, or we will disband the FBI and come up with something better.

Not sure what Country you are in, or why you care about what Other Government (& countries) do. But in America we have a Constitution and Citizen have rights... those rights are not given by Government, but by the US Constitution...

That the Federal Govnmt is mandated to follow... as directed by We the People.
 
This is about FBI unconstitutionally spying on it's own citizens... without a WARRANT. They can already do everything you are talking about if the FBI present a "sealed case" to a district judge and gets a signature for warrant...!

Not just on a whim... without oversight.


This law only applies to Citizens and warrantless seizure of information. FBI can already surveil and spy on foreign exchanges without a warrant.
Then its up to congress and/or the justice department to do something about it. It seems that 2019 let the "deep state" slide on this one, though that does not surprise me in the least.
 
I love all 'yall complaining while owning a cell phone .. and having a debit card or credit card, or using money orders or checks, or making car payments or owning a house or making house payments or the 10,000 other things that is all public domain to use against you.
 
I love all 'yall complaining while owning a cell phone .. and having a debit card or credit card, or using money orders or checks, or making car payments or owning a house or making house payments or the 10,000 other things that is all public domain to use against you.
Yes, as much data as that is, it is still significantly different than the government recording and indexing every conversation you ever have across every media. And by "you" while I sort of mean regular citizens I'm especially concerned about it including every lawmaker, every judge, every journalist, every investigator, etc. so that whoever controls the NSA can blackmail a significant fraction of shot callers in every domain.

I do agree our laws and judicial precedents probably have some catching up to do around how the government can or can not, and under what circumstances, use all that "public domain" data as well. We'll get there. Our checks & balances were built up over decades and centuries and tech has just moved a lot faster than our legal system does.
 
The US constitution applies to the world, is like US is 2023 (soon 2024) years old
 
Many people either didn't read the article or (worse) don't understand that the FBI spies / wants to continue spying on US citizens, (not overseas at foreign nations! That's the CIA's job)

And if somebody here mentions the FBI and the Constitution, they know what they're talking about.
 
With all the turmoil here and abroad I'm sure National Security will always have a role in 702. Sooner or later surveillance will no longer be an issue.
 
Yeah if it is expired, they can't use the power to spy on opposite political opponents anymore.

And for me that's the problem, they need someone to oversee who get's what access and for how long they can monitor it with REGULAR reviews. Yes I think it's a good idea to have FISA but the apparent misuse of it is very concerning for exactly the reason you post above.
 
I have mixed feelings on this. Iran and China have never posed a bigger threat to the world than they do now and we do have an on going war in the digital space with both of them.

That said, if this was used for its intended purpose and within the bounds of the law, I'm mostly fine with it. The thing is, it's not being used that way.

What we really have to take home from this is not whether or not it's right, it's whether or not we know about it. Agencies will do what they're doing to get this information whether they're allowed to or not, atleast this way we know about it and can monitor them.

That's the real take away.
Therein lies the problem. So far, what we've learned about the FBI and other government agencies in the past decade is that they cannot be trusted. And good luck monitoring them. When a sitting administration wants to collect info about you and doesn't want that known, you'll never find out. At least not through conventional methods.

This is a very tricky situation because I do believe that the US government should be doing things that are not necessarily open to public scrutiny. However, we have seen individuals in positions of power abusing those powers over many years. From the surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr., labelling Parents at School Board meetings as domestic terrorists, to having a major politician pay to have a fake dossier prepared to discredit their political opponent, or lying about their financial interests and more.

So, I don't know how we balance the need for secrecy when trying to combat potential threats to the country while having a means for people to ensure that the government isn't turning against its people.
 
Split the FBI up into regional entities... so it would take collusion from all branches, not just a few at one table.....
 
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