Senators are questioning whether the National Security Agency collected bulk data on more than just Americans’ phone records, such as firearm and book purchases.
A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday.
“We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law,” the senators wrote in the letter.
The NSA’s surveillance program has come under intense scrutiny following a leak revealing the agency harvested the phone metadata of millions of American citizens.
The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.
Wyden, as we know, has this way of asking questions that he already knows the answers to.
Maybe a back-door national gun registry will be one of the revelations we’ll hear from Edward Snowden. If he isn’t too busy appeasing the various anti-free-speech thugs whose help he needs to escape from us, that is.
I have given myself permission to be disgusted by both Snowden and the U.S. Government these days. There may not be that many good guys, but there are plenty of bad guys to go around.