US lawmakers demand to know how many residents are under surveillance

US lawmakers demand to know how many residents are under surveillance

Two powerful U.S. lawmakers are pushing President Donald Trump administration's to tell them how many of the country's residents are under surveillanc

Equifax or Equiphish?
Twitter Draws Data Privacy Concerns with Two New Bugs
WD turns to single app portal to create 'mobile moments' for workers

Two powerful U.S. lawmakers are pushing President Donald Trump administration’s to tell them how many of the country’s residents are under surveillance by the National Security Agency.

In a letter sent Friday, Representatives Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers Jr. asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to provide an estimate of the number of U.S. residents whose communications are swept up in NSA surveillance of foreign targets. Goodlatte, a Republican, is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Conyers is the committee’s senior Democrat.

Committee members have been seeking an estimate of the surveillance numbers from the ODNI for a year now. Other lawmakers have been asking for the surveillance numbers since 2011, but ODNI has failed to provide them.

The law that gives the NSA broad authority to spy on people overseas expires at the end of the year, and it’s “imperative” that lawmakers understand the impact on U.S. residents before they extend the surveillance authority, the letter said.

Some digital rights groups and lawmakers believe the communications of millions of U.S. residents are caught up in NSA surveillance programs when they talk with overseas targets.

The lawmakers asked the ODNI to update them on the status of their request by April 24.

Goodlatte and Conyers want the ODNI to provide them with “real numbers,” not just the percentage of communications collected that is from U.S. residents. They plan to share the numbers with the public, they wrote. ODNI should also publicly release its methodology for counting the number of U.S. communications, they said.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act prohibits the NSA from targeting people inside the U.S., but the agency, in “incidental” collection, gathers information from U.S. residents who are communicating with the agency’s overseas targets.

COMMENTS