The warrantless searches can target anyone and everyone who has contact with a person outside the United States. These people can include journalists, politicians, business executives, human rights activists and attorneys for research or merely banking purposes.

Revelations last week dealt a blow to the US after WikiLeaks released CIA documents detailing how the French political parties were “targeted for infiltrations by the CIA’s human (“HUMINT”) and electronic (“SIGINT”) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election.