Patriot ACT on Steroids: FISA Bill Forces ‘An Enormous Range’ of Businesses to Act as NSA Spies

By Chris Menahan – Information Liberation

The FISA bill being rammed through Congress is “the biggest expansion of domestic surveillance since the Patriot Act” and could compel “an enormous range” of businesses to start acting as NSA spies.

Elizabeth Goitein, who has been at the forefront of reporting on the FISA bill, issued a stark warning Monday in a viral thread on Twitter.



“Through a seemingly innocuous change to the definition of ‘electronic communications surveillance provider,’ an amendment offered by House intel committee (HPSCI) leaders and passed by the House vastly expands the universe of entities that can be compelled to assist the NSA,” Goitein reported.

“If the bill becomes law, any company or individual that provides ANY service whatsoever may be forced to assist in NSA surveillance, as long as they have access to equipment on which communications are transmitted or stored—such as routers, servers, cell towers, etc,” she continued.

“That sweeps in an enormous range of U.S. businesses that provide wifi to their customers and therefore have access to equipment on which communications transit. Barber shops, laundromats, fitness centers, hardware stores, dentist’s offices… the list goes on and on,” Goitein added. “It also includes commercial landlords that rent out the office space where tens of millions of Americans go to work every day—offices of journalists, lawyers, nonprofits, financial advisors, health care providers, and more.”

“The Senate MUST stop this train before it is too late,” Goitein warned. “The Senate is scheduled to vote on the House-passed bill this week. If there’s an opportunity to remove this provision, senators should remove it. If not, they should vote against the bill.”

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