Posted 06/05/2015 at 8:48 AM
Posted 2 years ago
The National Security Agency has been given more power to hunt for international cyber-criminals by expanding surveillance of the international Internet traffic of U.S. citizens, thanks to the Obama administration giving the green light to do so without any public notification or debate.
Classified N.S.A. documents revealed that beginning halfway through 2012, the Justice Department gave the okay to conduct searches on cyber-signatures and Internet addresses based on previous agreements that allowed for the observance of the activities of foreign governments.
The expansion was meant to address the gap in data collected on known hacking threats to the U.S., which was on the rise in the past five years.
It means that the N.S.A. can obtain private emails, trade secrets and more because the monitoring of hacker activities including thefts means that they could copy the information as they detect the thefts in cyberattacks.
Another element is the removal of obstacles preventing intelligence authorities and criminal investigation authorities from sharing and obtaining information through these methods to determine who could be a potential terrorist.
The news of the expansion comes just as the government is wrangling with the ideas of transparency and security and overreach, most notably with the passage of the USA Freedoms Bill.