Knowledge is Power: Cheat Sheet of Federal Surveillance Laws and Orders

In the “Era of Terror,” we are bombarded with justifications of domestic surveillance. Even after a year of Snowden Revelations and analysis, all of the laws and orders justifying warratless spying remain a tangled web.

Below is a list of the major documents used for domestic surveillance.

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The Constitution and Just War

As President Obama authorizes US airstrikes in Iraq and future strikes anticipated for Syria, it’s important to first ask whether or not the Constitution is being followed. The invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan, and drone strikes in multiple other countries has increased terrorism through blowback. Destabilized areas have become a hot bed for violent extremism.…

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Electronic Data Protection Act Blocks Practical Impact of Federal ICReach Database

A new report from The Intercept shows that  850 billion records of metadata can be accessed by intelligence and law enforcement agencies through a search engine created by NSA. ICReach is expansive, but it’s not invincible.  States can block some of the effects of this program in practice by passing the Electronic Data Privacy Act.

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Federal Programs Turning Local Police Into Warrior-Cops

Ferguson, Missouri should serve as a wake up call relating to the evolution of our local police departments into extensions of the federal government.  Once agencies primarily tasked with protecting the community, they have intertwined with and become increasingly dependent on the federal government, getting funding and equipment through asset forfeiture, gifts and grants from the federal government.

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Don’t Trust Congress to Protect the 4th Amendment

While there are indications that there are some positive provisions in the latest incarnation of the USA Freedom Act, it certainly wouldn’t end unconstitutional spying. There are also some troubling issues that make the proposed fixes potentially dangerous. Some analysts think the new version may have a massive loophole – something that even give supporters of the bill pause.

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Federal Agency-Business Partnerships that Advance 4th Amendment Violations

Russia has requested that some of NSA’s corporate customers, like Apple, share source code so that it can clear up suspected security issues. According to RT, Russia made the request in response to spy scandals that have undermined trust in foreign products. While they may complain about it, tech company cooperation with the American spy-state has set the stage for these requests, and more will certainly follow.

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