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Office of National Intelligence director admits unconstitutional use of surveillance

As Congress mulls whether or not to re-authorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has admitted that the government’s use of the Act has violated the constitutional rights of Americans at least one time in the past four years. The Act, passed by Congress in 2008 in the wake of revelations that the George W. Bush administration had been conducting illegal, warrantless spying on Americans for several years, allows the government to collect, inside the U.S. and without a warrant, communications of foreign persons located abroad, even if they are communicating with Americans located in the U.S. The government must, however, obtain the approval of the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.