As information technology has become ubiquitous, privacy has become a real concern for the average American. Sophisticated, connected devices make our life easier, giving us easy access to a wide array of services from cheap taxi rides to online shopping. From cell phones and gaming consoles to cars, the objects we use daily are connected in an endless flow of digital information known as the internet of things (IoT).
This information technology also enables intelligence organizations, law enforcement agencies, corporations, and criminals to unlawfully collect and exploit private information. Americans today are becoming increasingly aware of the perils connected devices hold, and looking for legal mechanisms to protect their basic right to privacy.
In the post-9/11 world, the United States has expanded the legal rights of its intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to collect private information, sometimes in cooperation with the telecom companies that provide services to the public. The most notable of these laws is Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which authorizes agencies to collect and use any electronic communications held by U.S. internet service providers. Unlike general FISA surveillance, however, Section 702 does not require that the target be a suspected terrorist, spy, or other foreign agent.