The Senate passed legislation to limit some of the National Security Agency's authority this week, however, newly leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal how the legislation doesn't apply to warrantless wiretapping. 

The Senate passed legislation this week limiting some of the NSA’s authority involving certain provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act. The catch? The legislation doesn't apply to the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. 

Whistleblower Edward Snowden released new documents showing how the Obama administration expanded the NSA's warrantless surveillance. The agency can now spy on Americans’ international Internet traffic and search for evidence regarding malicious computer hacking. Once again, this expansion was done without public notice or debate. 

ProPublica reports that, 

"In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware.

The Justice Department allowed the agency to monitor only addresses and cyber signatures — patterns associated with computer intrusions — that it could tie to foreign governments. But the documents also note that the NSA sought permission to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers."

This means the government can gather significant volumes of Americans’ information through Internet surveillance because monitoring data that flows to a hacker involves copying that information as the hacker steals it. So the government can access anything, from private emails to trade secrets and business dealings. 

What do you guys think about these expanded NSA authorities? Do you think we need them or is this just another loophole in the system? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

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