As the sprawling surveillance site being constructed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Utah grows larger and nearer completion every day, the domestic spy service remains tightlipped about just how much and what kind of personal electronic data they have already collected and collated. Not only does the NSA refuse to provide such information, it insists that it cannot be forced to.
In July of 2011 and again in May 2012, Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo., pictured, left) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore., pictured, right) wrote a letter to James R. Clapper, Jr., the Director of National Intelligence, asking him a series of four questions regarding the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies regarding domestic surveillance.
In one of the questions, Senators Udall and Wyden asked Clapper if “any apparently law-abiding Americans had their communications collected by the government pursuant to the FISA Amendments Act” and if so, how many Americans were affected by this surveillance.
The FISA Amendments Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2008 after being overwhelming passed 293 to 129 in the House and 69-28 in the Senate. Just a couple of days prior to its being enacted Representative Ron Paul and a coalition of Internet activists united to create a political action committee, Accountability Now, to conduct a money bomb in order to raise money to purchase ad buys to alert voters to the names of those congressmen (Republican and Democratic) who voted in favor of the act.
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