US Intelligence Agencies Urges Congress to Act Quickly on FISA Re-Authorization

Whether we admit it or not, the government of America is making all efforts to find the best way on how to protect its citizens against online criminals or hackers these days. On the other hand, there had been unwanted issues that the kind of protection it offers does not fully prevent those intruders and these types of people are continuously bothering millions of U.S. citizens for the past years.

 

Many are experiencing both civil and criminal concerns because despite the enforced laws of the authorities, the numbers of cybercrime victims are increasing each day and sometimes caused by the existing outdated passed laws.

 

Surely, the technology we have using the Internet opened the door wider to abusive people who intend to invade the privacy of their targeted victims. Even if there are surveillance platforms for online security, there are concerns on whether the government is sincere in protecting the public or not.

 

In line with this privacy issue, the latest reported news online revealed that the there are intelligence officials from the United States who are urging the lawmakers to “re-authorize” the existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). According to the published information, the officials want the Congress to expedite in re-authorizing the existing Section 702 of FISA to allow them perform mass surveillance to people who are using the Internet outside America.

 

They want the intelligence agencies to spy Internet users in bulk.

If the Congress granted the request, this means the agencies will have the consent to spy as well as keep the data they obtained online from people who are not residents of the United States.

 

According to the information about FISA (a surveillance program authorized by then former US President George W. Bush, it will expire on this coming 31st of December this 2017 if the Congress has no intention to renew this existing law.  As detailed through rt.com, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday (October 31, 2017) will have to vote about the re-authorization of Section 702 in private.

This is regardless that there is a request for a public debate on this matter.

In line with this, the NSA, CIA and former national intelligence directors had submitted a letter to the Congress to allow in removing and warrant-free secret conversation to pursue. “We strongly urge the Congress to reauthorize the program and continue allowing the intelligence community to protect our country,” said the former intelligence directors as quoted by the online news.

 

Last month, Jeff Sessions already urge the lawmakers to speed up the process of re-authorizing a particular section on the existing FISA law. The same move conducted by Dan Coats on September who signed a submitted letter to the Congress and addressing it to the House Speaker Paul Ryan and to the other involved members of the Congress.

 

The current law remains as an existing legal basis for the surveillance programs of the United States, but faced unwanted issues since they revealed the secret communications between foreign officials and US President Donald Trump, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

The revelation of the conversations came through the permission of Section 702.

 As detailed from the letter of Coats and Sessions, FISA’s Section 702, “allows the Intelligence Community, under a robust regime of oversight by all three branches of government, to collect vital information about international terrorists, cyber actors, individuals and entities engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other important foreign intelligence targets located outside the United States.”

Sessions is an Attorney General, while Coats is a Director of National Intelligence.

The current surveillance program received massive criticism after learning that there are government agencies that spy and store conversations from millions of US citizens. If the Congress renews and re-authorizes the requested section, it permits the intelligence services to search for Internet data even without asking permission.

This allows the US-based agencies to spy conversations from foreign countries.  

DQC Reveals Dominance of Education Data on Many New Passed Laws  

The continuing development of the Internet truly exposed millions of web users across the world today. Besides the great advantages that the Internet offers, there are serious problems about people, businesses, organizations and websites that experience privacy concerns involving hackers or scammers online.

Perhaps one of the main reasons why many people are experiencing unwanted issues is that they reveal too much of their personal information or not using them appropriately. Unfortunately, some of the victims of privacy invasion are young people out there.

This is the reason why like in the United States, there is a law that protects the privacy of students and school institutions when they access the Internet.

In the recent news information online, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) revealed that the in almost 183 state bills, 93 of them tackled about data privacy during the legislative session this 2017. As detailed from thejournal.com, almost 49 congressional representatives in different states had presented 503 bills wherein 41 of these states passed almost 94 new laws involving data privacy as well as security since 2013.

According to DQC whom they recognized as a non-profit organization that functions as a monitoring agency on how school institutions, districts and states are using information in terms of improving education, this kind of trend is unusual.

The DQC conducts an annual monitoring and issuing its own state legislation report about student privacy and education data. Based on the information shared by this non-profit organization, it published what they call “roadmap” in providing the exact assistance to state education agencies on how they will improve the results of education through coordinating with research experts on this field.

As explained on the website dataqualitycampaign.org, the information they shared about their latest submitted report came out based on the four policy priorities to make data work for students, which mainly addresses the 2017 data education.

Here is the list of the 4 Policy Priorities as detailed by DQC:

  1. Measure what matters
  2. Make data use possible
  3. Be transparent & earn trust
  4. Guarantee access & protect privacy

According to the monitoring organization, these policies aims to determine on whether the new passed laws can support an “effective data use and protection” or will restrain it.

From the 31 new passed laws out of the 95 bills introduced by almost 36 states in America, these laws have connection to the gathering, linking as well as authority of education information. From those bills for right information collection, the law passed by the State of Maryland intended to revise on how the Department of Education gets the reported data “about seclusion and restraint practices,” as detailed through thejournal.com.

Details regarding race, gender and must be part of the submitted report.

About the exact governance or control, a new law that create “Educational and Attainment Research Navigation System” passed by the State of Maine. Based on the explanation about this system, it will be responsible in keeping and reporting education information and results of the workforce.

There will be an executive council in determining any lapse on the new system.

In addition, there are new 21 passed laws in about 26 states for the make data use possible, 20 passed laws in 59 presented bills for the transparent and earning trust and 30 passed new laws from 107 presented bills of 38 states for the guarantee access and protecting privacy.

DQC likewise said that the States made use of the legislation to create significant development to achieving the goal of making the data working for the students. It is very important to work together in assuring the best help for the students, teachers and school institutions when it comes to using the data they need.