Friday, December 23, 2005

We're From the Government.

Trust us.

The National Security Agency, in carrying out President Bush's order to intercept the international phone calls and e-mails of Americans suspected of links to Al Qaeda, has probably been using computers to monitor all other Americans' international communications as well, according to specialists familiar with the workings of the NSA.
This means, of course, that we are all considered threats to national security, until proven otherwise. And that the NSA may have monitored my phone calls to my daughter this summer,when she was in China.

And may be monitoring this blog, since it gets international visitors (from Europe to Korea).

Whom do I contact to press charges?

UPDATE: Apparently my concerns are not exaggerated:

The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.

The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.

As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

The government's collection and analysis of phone and Internet traffic have raised questions among some law enforcement and judicial officials familiar with the program. One issue of concern to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has reviewed some separate warrant applications growing out of the N.S.A.'s surveillance program, is whether the court has legal authority over calls outside the United States that happen to pass through American-based telephonic "switches," according to officials familiar with the matter.
And the fact that a Federal court and Federal judges are expressing and acting on concerns about this is much more important than may at first appear. Courts traditionally and structurally respond only to what is brought before them. But when their own integrity is threatened by another branch of government, well....

in the 1970's, we learned to call that a "constitutional crisis."

This is going to be bigger, and potentially worse, than any of us are yet imagining.

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