The fight with NSA surveillance is never ending

Internet surveillance team

When the internet surveillance experts get together to a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, it will be known as one of the first big public battles in the next stage of the war over the privacy of US citizens with the US government’s spying on everyone.

Internet surveillance hearing

This hearing will primarily focus on what is known as the “702 surveillance” a reference which is referred to the section of the 1978 law that authorizes the National Security Agency to be allowed to collect the internet traffic of foreigners and that underpins two major NSA mass surveillance programs: One of them consists of allowing the government to retain data from internet companies and the other for the “upstream collection” program that siphons directly from the internet’s basic infrastructure.

Privacy groups had something to say. They say that in Section 702 is far too broad, and that enabling the NSA to incidentally collect intelligence of all of the US citizens as well.

Elizabeth Goitein, who is the co-director of Liberty National Security Program believes that there is an enormous amount of data that is being pulled in by Section 702 Section 702 is due to expire at the end of 2017, and the privacy advocates hope to be able to force changes to the law that will narrow its scope and bring down the amount of personal and ordinary data that the NSA is allowed to collect from Americans.

The civil liberty reformers

Privacy and civil liberty reformers had a very powerful argument against bulk metadata collection. Before the USA freedom act was passed. A judge who acted in the federal court that approves of such surveillance programs had ruled that the phone records program was unconstitutional.

The government also provided no sample data which could potentially stop any plots of attacks threatening the US citizens. They pointed out that a terrorist attack has never been prevented by searching the NSA database was faster than other tactics.

702 surveillance program case

The case which is fighting against the 702 surveillance programs appears more complicated than it sounds. The government has argued that Section 702 has been far more effective in fighting terrorism than the bulk metadata program.

In 2013 the officials had pointed out that the 702 surveillance had stopped more than 50 terrorist plots during its existence, and the White House panel that reviewed NSA programs in the wake of the Edwards Snowden leaks said Section 702 does indeed play a very vital role in the nation’s effort to prevent any forthcoming terrorist attacks or plots around the globe.

This section is also meant to be targeting communications of foreigners outside of US as they enjoy fewer protections under the USA law.