New Snowden leak: NSA uses warrantless Web surveillance to hunt hackers

Ever since Edward Snowden began to leak details on the mass surveillance programs of the NSA and other government agencies, there’s been an ongoing debate over the nature and limits that should be placed on such surveillance. One of the most troubling trends exposed in repeated leaks is the degree to which the government has exceeded the enormous authority granted it by the Patriot Act and other legislation. New information, available today, is going to reignite that argument. Days after the Senate voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act with some modest modifications, details have leaked on how the Obama Administration authorized the NSA to search the Internet for evidence of malicious hacking, even when there were no obvious ties between the alleged hackers and any international groups.

According to a joint investigation between the New York Times and Pro Publica, the Justice Department authorized the NSA to hunt for hackers without a warrant, even when those hackers were present on American soil. Initially, the DOJ authorized the NSA to gather only addresses and “cybersignatures” that corresponded to computer intrusions, so that it could tie the efforts to specific foreign governments. The NSA, however, sought permission to push this envelope. These new slides also note, incidentally, that Dropbox was targeted for addition to the PRISM program.

Read the Full Article: Source – Extreme Tech

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