With such a low standard to protect against collecting U.S. residents' data, the collection raises major questions about whether it violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches, critics said.
The recent stories show the scope of the data collection by the NSA, said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel with The Constitution Project, a civil liberties group. "These revelations about the way [section 702] is being interpreted and enforced, and the scope of the collection, increases the likelihood it's violating the Fourth Amendment, by scooping up so much of Americans' communications," she said.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is email@example.com.