NSA admits to collecting 56,000 American emails per year

This is what they are admitting to, and based on the simple numbers involved, "only" 56,000 emails means that we're talking emails actually looked at by a human being:

The nations’ top intelligence official is declassifying three secret U.S. court opinions showing how the National Security Agency scooped up as many as 56,000 emails annually over three years and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism, how it revealed the error to the court and changed how it gathered Internet communications.

Orin Kerr says it's all about the filters. I disagree. The problem is not whether the NSA can filter out American traffic or not. The problem is that the NSA has apparatus in place to acquire the traffic at all. Acquiring all the traffic -- even if subsequently filtered to exclude American traffic -- is the same concept as a general warrant that only happens to be applied to specific person(s) or location(s).

The Constitution does not authorize blanket surveillance. Warrants must be individualized and specific. Filtering after the fact does not satisfy this requirement.

This entry was published Wed Aug 21 18:08:47 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2013-08-21 18:08:47.0. [Tweet]

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