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US NSA can access data without court approval, leaker says

Grant Gross | June 18, 2013
Snowden repeats his accusations after U.S. agencies deny they listen to phone calls or read emails without warrants

U.S. officials are creating a false distinction between U.S. residents and other people, Snowden said in the chat. Saying U.S. residents enjoy more legal protections "is a distraction from the power and danger of this system," he wrote. "Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that 'We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created equal.'"

It's not difficult for the NSA to get a warrant for U.S. communications, Snowden added. "Even in the event of 'warranted' intercept, it's important to understand the intelligence community doesn't always deal with what you would consider a 'real' warrant like a Police department would have to, the 'warrant' is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp," he wrote.

"Americans' communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant," he added. "They excuse this as 'incidental' collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications."

 

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