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Collateral damage of our surveillance state

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As the surreal sex scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation reveals another prominent general's "flirtatious" emails, the serious scandal here may well be the breadth of the FBI's power to launch fishing expeditions through Americans' most intimate communications... While federal courts must report on the number of wiretap orders issued each year, there's no similar requirement for most other forms of digital surveillance. Where reporting requirements exist, they are routinely flouted by the Justice Department, which sometimes waits years to provide Congress with mandatory reports... Though technology continues to advance at a breathtaking pace, the federal digital privacy rules were written in 1986 "' when Atari was king. Investigators often don't even need a Fourth Amendment search warrant to go fishing through your emails. For messages on a server...

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At blogs.reuters.com

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