A group of lawmakers from both parties are unhappy that they are being asked to reauthorize two key surveillance programs without the Obama executive branch answering how much data is being gathered on innocent Americans.
|The two programs authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are PRISM and Upstream. Prism is described by Wikipedia as follows:|
PRISM is a clandestine surveillance program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from at least nine major US internet companies. Since 2001 the United States government has increased its scope for such surveillance, and so this program was launched in 2007.
In a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) order from October 3, 2011, it's said that the Upstream collection accounts for approximately 9% of the total number of 250 million internet communications which NSA collects under the authority of section 702 FAA every year. During the first half of 2011, NSA acquired some 13.25 million internet communications through Upstream collection. "The program is unable to exclude domestic communications due to technical difficulties. The government refuses to tell politicians how much data is collected from Americans.
“House Judiciary Committee members have lent their voices to the growing chorus demanding hard facts about how foreign intelligence surveillance affects Americans,The NSA will soon be asking Congress to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and it will repeat its past claims that any collection of Americans’ communications is merely ‘incidental. We still don’t have this basic information.”