The NSA has collected so-called “to, from, about” communications since 2008. The collection of data was legally allowed under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
According to the NSA, the agency will limit the collection of communications to data that is sent directly to or from a foreign target.
The agency said they’re putting a stop to collecting “about” communication in order to avoid intercepting the data of American citizens or those who are not in direct contact with a target and to protect privacy.
Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden has been a vocal critic of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance.
After the NSA’s announcement that it would end collection American’s emails about foreign surveillance targets, Sen. Wyden issued the following statement:
“This change ends a practice that could result in Americans’ communications being collected without a warrant merely for mentioning a foreign target,” Wyden said. “For years, I’ve repeatedly raised concerns that this amounted to an end run around the Fourth Amendment. This transparency should be commended. To permanently protect Americans’ rights, I intend to introduce legislation banning this kind of collection in the future.”
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is set to expire at the end of this year.
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