Government assumes a lot when targeting persons overseas for surveillance

The Washington Post has a companion story to the Guardian's revelations about FISA secret warrants that reveals additional details of just how much discretion is allowed by the FISA court when the US targets someone for surveillance: It issues a certificate, good for one year, that allows the NSA to order a U.S. Internet or phone company to turn over over e-mails, phone calls and other communications related to a series of foreign targets, none of which the court approved individually. "What's most striking about the targeting procedures is the discretion they confer on the NSA," said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security program. In figuring out whether a target is "reasonably believed" to be located overseas, for example, the agency looks at the "totality of the circumstances" relating to a person's location. In the absence of that specific information, "a person reasonably believed to be located outside the ...(Read Full Post)