Not too long ago, we reported how the FBI will soon be able to get a warrant to hack any computer with anonymity software, regardless of what this software is being used for. But that is not the only cause of concern, as the number of warrantless searches is growing month over month.
The Role of NSA and FBI In Privacy
The number of warrantless searches has doubled between 2013 and 2015. All of the information gathered from these investigations is stored in what the NSA calls the 702 database. An aptly chosen name, as warrantless searches are authorised by Section 702.
The primary goal of these warrantless searches is to target non-US individuals believed to possess, receive, or communicate intelligence information. However, this number increased to 4,672 in 2015 and is expected to keep growing over the next few years. It is important to keep in mind every single of these incidents is a back door searches, without warrant requested or granted.
In addition to these numbers, there is a substantial increase in searches on Americans’ metadata, as the numbers more than doubled between 2013 and 2015. That being said, these numbers do not include searches done by the CIA or government organisations, but only by the NSA. But there is a strong indication the number of FBI searches goes well beyond these figures, as the agency is not required to disclose how many searches the 702 database has in total.
Next year, there will be a vote on whether or not the surveillance programmes authorized under Section 702 will be renewed or not. While there is a serious debate as to whether or not these guidelines are legal and ethical, there is no indication government officials will oppose the renewal for the time being.
In fact, it appears as if government hacking will only grow worse, and things may escalate fairly quickly if nothing is done about this scenario. If approved, the guidelines would actually greenlight unlimited warrantless hacking for the FBI, which is not something privacy advocates are looking forward to.
Source: Deep Dot Web
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