NSA expands warrantless wiretapping of the internet

Since 2012 the National Security Agency has been monitoring the international internet traffic of American citizens without a warrant.

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA was looking for hackers connected to foreign powers.

Also, that they were only allowed to monitor the addresses and “cybersignatures” associated with foreign powers, but that the NSA wanted to warrantlessly monitor hackers even when no such connection could be made.

The expiration of the Patriot Act this past week ended the NSA’s bulk phone data collection program, but did not stop the warrantless wiretapping.

“It should come as no surprise that the U.S. government gathers intelligence on foreign powers that attempt to penetrate U.S. networks and steal the private information of U.S. citizens and companies,” said Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Over the past two months, cyber-attacks against the U.S. government by foreign powers has been an alarmingly frequent occurrence.

In April, Russian hackers breached an unclassified computer system at the White House and read the President’s private schedule.

Last week, Russia also breached IRS servers, which resulted in payouts of false claims to the tune of $50 million.

Friday it was revealed that Chinese hackers have also been assaulting government computers.

The Office of Personnel Management discovered that in December 2014 Chinese hackers got into their servers and obtained sensitive information on millions of government employees.

 

[The Washington Post][Photo courtesy the AP via The Washington Post]