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The NSA Just Ended Part of Its Warrantless Surveillance Operation

Photo: Brooks Kraft/Corbis via Getty Images

The National Security Agency, the government division synonymous with anxiety about someone reading your sexts, has reportedly decided to end one of its most controversial programs. The New York Times is reporting that the NSA is ending one of its warrantless wiretap programs, which involved collecting emails and texts about foreign surveillance targets sent by Americans.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has upheld these searches as lawful, with the intel community arguing that merely communicating with an address associated with a terror suspect is grounds for investigation. Those in opposition to the effort claimed that it violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights, which protect them from illegal search and seizure.

According to the Times:

The N.S.A. made the change to resolve problems it was having complying with special rules imposed by the surveillance court in 2011 to protect Americans’ privacy. For technical reasons, the agency ended up collecting messages sent and received domestically as a byproduct of such surveillance, the officials said.

The law that authorized the collection program, the FISA Amendments Act, expires at the end of 2017. Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has announced his intention to codify new limits on NSA surveillance in congressional legislation.

The NSA Just Ended Part of Its Warrantless Surveillance