And that leeway seems to work to the disadvantage of people who take steps to protect their Internet communications from prying eyes. For instance, a person whose physical location is unknown—which more often than not is the case when someone uses anonymity software from the Tor Project—”will not be treated as a United States person, unless such person can be positively identified as such, or the nature or circumstances of the person’s communications give rise to a reasonable belief that such person is a United States person,” the secret document stated.
Basically, if you are encrypting things the NSA can’t determine you are not a terrorist and therefore can save and try to break into all data they can get their hands on. It’s really no different than if you close your window blinds, the police can then attempt to break into your home and look through your stuff — oh wait — they can’t do that.
In the event of an emergency, meanwhile, NSA analysts are allowed to throw the guidelines out the window. “If NSA determines that it must take action in apparent departure from these minimization procedures to protect against an immediate threat to human life force protection or hostage situations and that it is not feasible to obtain a timely modification of these procedures, NSA may take such action,” according to the guidelines. That said, NSA is then required to report its actions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as well and to the Department of Justice, which is then charged with notifying FISA.
Basically these secret courts have given NSA analysts carte blanche to do what ever the hell they want to. Stupid.
I guess the only thing to do is add a location flag to encrypted data that says: “Property of a U.S. Citizen, fuck off.”