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NSA/FBI Purchasing Data on Americans Illegally


Staff member

Talked about by senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).

To fix the problem, Wyden wants intelligence communities to agree to inventory and then "promptly" purge the data that they allegedly illegally collected on Americans without a warrant. Wyden said that this process has allowed agencies like the NSA and the FBI "in effect" to use "their credit card to circumvent the Fourth Amendment."

X-Mode's practices, the FTC said, were likely to cause "substantial injury to consumers that are not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or competition and are not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves." Wyden's spokesperson, Keith Chu, told Ars that "the data brokers selling Internet records to the government appear to engage in nearly identical conduct" to X-Mode.

The FTC's order also indicates "that Americans must be told and agree to their data being sold to 'government contractors for national security purposes' for the practice to be allowed," Wyden said.