Thursday, June 06, 2013

Who Ya Texting

We thought it was terrible when we learned that Eric Holder had subpoenaed the phone records of the Associated Press, but now we learn that the NSA (No Such Agency) has obtained the phone records of everybody who has a Verizon account.
Glenn Greenwald reports on secret court order, issued in April, which compelled one of the nation’s largest telecom providers to hand over daily call logs to the federal government. The information did not include actual content of conversations, but it included everything but:
That's interesting, if only to remember that the charter of the NSA (as I understand it) forbids spying on Americans in America.

The National Security Agency has long justified its spying powers by arguing that its charter allows surveillance on those outside of the United States, while avoiding intrusions into the private communications of American citizens. But the latest revelation of the extent of the NSA’s surveillance shows that it has focused specifically on Americans, to the degree that its data collection has in at least one major spying incident explicitly excluded those outside the United States.
Overreach?  You tell me.  The defenders of the practice say that it's a holdover from the Patriot Act, legislated under the Bush administration after 9/11.  But, it looks like the NSA is now looking at the text messages betixt Milady and I, reminding me to pick up Dawn dishwashing liquid and toilet paper on my way home from work.  Or, to stop by the package store and pick up a bottle of wine.

The fact that Bush did it didn't please me, and the fact that Obama is doing it after promising to not listen to my conversations has me completely pissed off.  Two wrongs don't make a right, and just because Bush did it doesn't mean that Obama should do it.


zdogk9 said...

I think the last time I used that argument was when I was about 5, didn't work.

Hobie said...

When I worked for the USASA I was told the NSA was forbidden by law from intercepting the communications of U.S. citizens. Is this no longer true?

I heard today that the POTUS said this only applied to foreigners. Not true. That there is nothing in "metadata". Not true. That this was necessary for the security of the nation. Not true.