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In 2013, Americans learned that the federal government massively surveys their phone calls and e-mai
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In 2013, Americans learned that the federal government massively surveys their phone calls and e-mails. The counterterrorist effort was old and passed as a series of laws, although Congress kept mum until an intelligence technician leaked to the media. The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—sponsored by Congressional liberals to restrain federal snooping on U.S. citizens, as Nixon had done—set up a secret FISA court that routinely grants sweeping warrants to collect information. After 9/11, Congress hastily passed the Patriot Act to monitor phone calls, e-mails, finances, credit cards, and Muslim citizens. With several amendments, laws now require phone and Internet carriers to give the National Security Agency their metadata on all communications. NSA supercomputers run algorithms of who contacts whom, for how long, and their location. The NSA claims it does not open messages but passes suspicious patterns on to the CIA or FBI, which can ask the FISA court for more intrusive warrants.
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