Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) has been pretty open about the fact that her “change but preserve” NSA bill would do materially nothing to stop the bulk collection of Americans’ private data. Turns out that’s the least of the problem.
As the high profile “reform” bill competes with an alternative bill from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D – VT) that would actually eliminate parts of the NSA’s spying authority, the Feinstein bill is actually worse than nothing, and gives the NSA new powers it didn’t have before.
Feinstein’s House counterpart, Rep. Mark Rogers (R – MI), had been complaining about a “loophole” where the NSA isn’t allowed to directly surveil people inside the United States, because that’s the FBI’s job. Feinstein would allow the NSA to keep treating foreigners inside the United States as if they weren’t inside the United States for seven days automatically, and longer with a court order.
Feinstein defended the need for mass surveillance, citing the attack on a mall in Kenya, and arguing that conceivably without full surveillance of the entire planet somewhat might’ve attacked a mall inside the US.
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