On February 10th, Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. made a call for CIA surveillance transparency. The Senators, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, brought forward concerns about the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) bulk surveillance practices. The release of recent documents detailing the CIA’s secret bulk collection programs gave officials cause for concern. Agency searches surveilling American citizens introduce serious privacy concerns and necessary conversations regarding the correct way to handle that information. 

Senators Wyden and Heinrich sent a request for the declassification of a recent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board report. The document was made publicly available on February 10th, 2022, nearly a year after the formal request in April 2021. The letter reveals details about the CIA’s “bulk program”, which they conduct in secret, made possible under Executive Order 12333. 

CIA Surveillance Programs

In the initial letter sent by Wyden and Heinrich, the Senators state that the program was “entirely outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection.” They go on to say that the program operates “without any of the judicial, congressional or even executive branch oversight.” 

In response to the documents recently made public, Wyden and Heinrich reiterate their concerns for the privacy of American citizens. “…what these documents demonstrate is that many of the same concerns that Americans have about their privacy and civil liberties also apply to how the CIA collects and handles information under executive order and outside the FISA law.” 

They continue, saying: “These documents reveal serious problems associated with warrantless backdoor searches of Americans, the same issue that has generated bipartisan concern in the FISA context.” FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, prompts the collection of intelligence from “foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism. 

Ultimately, Wyden and Heinrich are searching for more transparency from the CIA as it pertains to records of American citizens. They also call for a clearer understanding of the legal framework for the process of collecting that data. “The public deserves to know more about the collection of this information,” they said in a recent statement, adding: “The DNI and the CIA Director have started this process. We intend to continue to urge them to achieve the transparency the American people deserve.”

Protecting Yourself from Surveillance

Your privacy is not always a guarantee, especially on the Internet. Government agencies and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) monitor online activity to look for threats, but there are still privacy concerns. These concerns stem from the way that these entities monitor your information and how they use it once they have it. There is no telling who is spying on you or tracking your activity on the Internet. Cybercriminals and malicious hackers are waiting around every corner without the intentions that government officials may have. 

You never know who monitors your information or what they’re doing with it, which is why your privacy is important. Without the extra security of software like a VPN, you could potentially expose yourself to serious cybersecurity threats. A VPN can also help you bypass restrictive censorship protocols. It’s never been more necessary to ensure that your online activity is safe from prying eyes. 

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What is a VPN?

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) allow you to route your IP address through an encrypted server in another location. This software helps protect you from IP leaks by masking your true IP address from websites that want your data. These websites read the IP address of the server you connect to instead of the IP address for your device. This provides you with an extra layer of protection from invasive cybercriminals. 

Using a VPN is a great way to combat IP leaks, but it also improves your overall safety and security. Newer VPNs also offer Kill Switch integration, which can immediately disconnect you from the Internet in case of an emergency. If you believe that your information is in danger of being compromised, you can activate your Kill Switch and disconnect. This can help prevent serious cybersecurity attacks and keep your device safe from criminals. 

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Reliable VPN Privacy and Protection

Equipping your personal devices with a reliable VPN is a great way to ensure that your data remains secure. With PrivadoVPN, you can take back control of your online privacy and tailor your VPN experience to get more protection. Premium users get access to unlimited data, up to 10 simultaneous connections, and access to 300+ secure global servers. Our VPN is based in Switzerland, meaning your data is protected by the strongest privacy laws in the world. You can feel secure knowing your information is encrypted and secure.

Sign up now for PrivadoVPN and take control of your online privacy today.

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