Wyden's specific objections are as follows:I look the FISA Amendment up and it doesn't allow the wiretaps on US soil - not when Glennwald was implying at all - and does set out rules for surveillance, which he didn't mention. The problem is it allows for warrantless taps in the case of emergencies, provided you file the papers afterwards; that's clearly open to abuse. Glennwald doesn't explain that, he implies the entire act is only about removing warrants (which it isn't).
Originally Posted by Megan Carpentier"Unlike the traditional FISA authorities and unlike law enforcement wiretapping authorities, section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act does not involve obtaining individual warrants," Wyden explained. "Instead, it allows the government to get what's called a programmatic warrant, lasts for an entire year, and authorizes the government to collect a potentially large number of phone calls and emails with no requirement that the senders or recipients be connected to terrorism, espionage, the threats that we are concerned about."
"If that sounds familiar," he added, "It certainly should. General warrants that allowed government officials to decide whose privacy they would invade were the exact sort of abuse that the American colonists protested over and led the Founding Fathers to adopt the Fourth Amendment in the first place."
"This law doesn't actually prohibit the government from collecting Americans' phone calls and emails without a warrant," he said, because "the FISA Amendments Act states that acquisitions made under Section 702 may not 'intentionally target a specific American,' and may not 'intentionally acquire communications that are known at the time of acquisition to be wholly domestic,'" which Wyden considers too large a loophole.
"It still leaves a lot of room for circumstances under which Americans' phone calls and emails, including purely domestic phone calls and emails could be swept up and reviewed without a warrant," he said, which "can happen if the government didn't know that someone is American, or if the government made a technical error, or if the American was talking to a foreigner even if that conversation was entirely legitimate."
Not only could it happen, he said, but it has happened. "The FISA court has ruled at least once that collection carried out by the government under the FISA Amendments Act violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Senate rules regarding classified information prevent me from discussing details of that ruling or how many Americans were affected over what period of time, but this fact alone, Mr. President, clearly demonstrates that the impact of this law on Americans' privacy has been real and it is not hypothetical."