US ‘crossing the line’ by new NSA bill

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The United States Senate will be �œcrossing the line” by promoting a bill that will strengthen the National Security Agency�™s hand on warrantless searches, a political analyst says.

�œThe idea that the government can, without a warrant, retreat information from foreign sources about Americans domestically and what they may or may not be doing is crossing the line that if sufficiently informed most Americans would probably protest about,” director of Democracy Institute Patrick Basham told Press TV on Saturday.

�œI think that sense is correct that this is information that most Americans do not want their government to just freely be able to get their hands on,” he added.

A Senate bill, which is proposed by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein as an NSA reform law, will do nothing to stop the spying agency’s surveillance reach and will instead codify the NSA’s worst abuses, The Guardian reported on Friday.

The bill would officially legalize the NSA’s ability to search �œits troves of foreign phone and email communications for Americans�™ information” without a warrant and �œpermit law enforcement agencies to search the vast databases as well,” according to the report.

�œI think that the Senate Intelligence Committee�™s vote to approve Senator Feinstein�™s amendments and moves to expand the government�™s ability to collect information on Americans by using foreign data is a perfect illustration of how the ongoing battle and debate between the two sides of the national security issue continues to evolve and continues not to be resolved to either side�™s satisfaction,” Basham said.

�œI say that because what Senator Feinstein and others are looking for as they�™ve looked for since 9/11 is any way possible, legally that is, to cast a wider net in national security terms, in intelligence terms, to capture as much information particularly about foreign threats but also where they feel necessary about individuals in the domestic American population,” he explained.

�œThe bottom line is that 12 years after 9/11, the country still hasn�™t really decided whether it wants to be a more secure, but less free country or it wants to continue to be a freer, more protected country in terms of individual rights,” he concluded.

AGB/HJ

Source: Press TV