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McCullagh reports: "The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls."

The NSA admits to listening to domestic phone calls without a warrant. (photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)
The NSA admits to listening to domestic phone calls without a warrant. (photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)



NSA Admits to Listening to US Phone Calls Without Warrants

By Declan McCullagh, CNET

16 June 13

 

he National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."

There are serious "constitutional problems" with this approach, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated warrantless wiretapping cases. "It epitomizes the problem of secret laws."

The NSA yesterday declined to comment to CNET. A representative said Nadler was not immediately available. (This is unrelated to last week's disclosure that the NSA is currently collecting records of the metadata of all domestic Verizon calls, but not the actual contents of the conversations.)

Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls -- in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article last year disclosed that the NSA has established "listening posts" that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, "whether they originate within the country or overseas." That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications.

William Binney, a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency's worldwide eavesdropping network, told the Daily Caller this week that the NSA records the phone calls of 500,000 to 1 million people who are on its so-called target list, and perhaps even more. "They look through these phone numbers and they target those and that's what they record," Binney said.

Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved.

NSA's annual budget is classified but is estimated to be around $10 billion.

Documents that came to light in an EFF lawsuit provide some insight into how the spy agency vacuums up data from telecommunications companies. Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he witnessed domestic voice and Internet traffic being surreptitiously "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. The room was accessible only to NSA-cleared technicians.

AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It's a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act.

That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed.

A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA "may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States." A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically -- on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to "target" a specific American citizen.

Rep. Nadler's disclosure that NSA analysts can listen to calls without court orders came during a House Judiciary hearing on Thursday that included FBI director Robert Mueller as a witness.

Mueller initially sought to downplay concerns about NSA surveillance by claiming that, to listen to a phone call, the government would need to seek "a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual."

Is information about that procedure "classified in any way?" Nadler asked.

"I don't think so," Mueller replied.

"Then I can say the following," Nadler said. "We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get the specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that...In other words, what you just said is incorrect. So there's a conflict."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged this week that the agency's analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA's surveillance process involves "billions" of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database.

They can be accessed by an analyst who's part of the NSA's "workforce of thousands of people" who are "trained" annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer.)

If it were "a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant," McConnell told the committee. "And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value."

McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants.

Former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN last month that, in national security investigations, the bureau can access records of a previously made telephone call. "All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not," he said. Clemente added in an appearance the next day that, thanks to the "intelligence community" -- an apparent reference to the NSA -- "there's a way to look at digital communications in the past."

NSA Director Keith Alexander said this week that his agency's analysts abide by the law: "They do this lawfully. They take compliance oversight, protecting civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day."

But that's not always the case. A New York Times article in 2009 revealed the NSA engaged in significant and systemic "overcollection" of Americans' domestic communications that alarmed intelligence officials. The Justice Department said in a statement at the time that it "took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance" with the law.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, says he was surprised to see the 2008 FISA Amendments Act be used to vacuum up information on American citizens. "Everyone who voted for the statute thought it was about international communications," he said.

 

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-11 # katela 2013-06-16 13:03
Classified briefing. I guess not.
 
 
+43 # Above God 2013-06-16 13:09
When Did NSA Analysts Become Judges?
 
 
+58 # engelbach 2013-06-16 13:37
It's not possible that the officials at the NSA are so ignorant as to not know of the Fourth Amendment's protection against exactly what the agency is doing.

It is deliberate flouting of the Constitution, which is illegal and those responsible should be severely punished.
 
 
+5 # Glen 2013-06-17 08:11
There is no more 4th amendment, thanks to the Patriot Act. One day at a time, the constitution is being eliminated.
 
 
-13 # tauzinger 2013-06-16 13:41
Debunked: http://www.zdnet.com/nsa-can-allegedly-listen-to-phone-calls-without-warrants-report-7000016864/
 
 
+7 # Small Family Farmer 2013-06-16 14:55
Imagine that, a democratic congressman directly contradicts a statement made by a democratic president and then issues a retraction of his statement.

I can't imagine this administration putting any pressure on Rep. Nadler, you know something like "Now Nadler, you really don't want to become part of my now infamous Tuesday get together, do you? Get with the program son or I've got a drone with your name painted on it"
 
 
+5 # tingletlc 2013-06-16 14:56
After what I believe is due investigation of this link, I have to ask: does the net "thumbs-down" here reflect disbelief? Disapproval? Dyspepsia? Dysthymia? What?
 
 
-12 # theshift33 2013-06-16 16:10
How about dysgenic as in YOU - out of the gene pool.
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-06-16 18:43
Quoting tingletlc:
After what I believe is due investigation of this link, I have to ask: does the net "thumbs-down" here reflect disbelief? Disapproval? Dyspepsia? Dysthymia? What?


In most cases, any and all of the above.

Sometimes the thumbs-down can simply indicate that the pure facts and the unassailable truth laid out in the "offending" comment do not succeed in making the "thumber" happy.

Occasionally, the "thumbs-down" actually mean what they are intended to mean, as in: "Poor comment, you have not done your homework ........." Or "Poor comment, you have misread what you are up in arms over ...."

At times, "thumbs-down" is merely a wonderful, anonymous "hit and run" tactic relieving the "thumber" of the bother of constructing a counter argument.

And yet, some original comments are so inane that they do not merit, nor even lend themselves to a counter argument because they have made no coherent original point beyond rambling, such that "thumbs-down" is the only response applicable.

Thus, "thumbs down" can mean anything or nothing.

Absent accompanying comment, "thumbs down" cannot communicate much more concrete than an obvious but
unsubstantiated "knee-jerk" reaction from the "thumber".
 
 
+1 # tauzinger 2013-06-17 03:44
I watched the video of the hearing, Nadler and Mueller both said what they said. Nonetheless, he issued a statement contradicting hhis implication, every single instance of the story (including the original one) was updated to reflect that, which should have happened here as well. Let the readers decide what they make of the fact that Nadler issued a retraction, not saying "I was mistaken", "I misunderstood", "I was lied to in the briefing", but just "I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant."
 
 
+20 # X Dane 2013-06-16 13:46
Their motives may be noble, when they collect information. It may be to keep us safe from terrorist attacks. But some of the people working in collecting all that information could USE it. I can imagine someone using damaging information about a candidate running for office.

There are always individuals, who either feel a particular candidate SHOULD be outed for ideological reasons. Or they will do it for money.

Don't tell me that, that could not happen!!
 
 
-15 # tabonsell 2013-06-16 16:07
X Dane:

You are correct in your statement.

Those who go to work at NSA do so for patriotic and noble reasons and the work is steady. Those who go to work for the privatized private-sector splinter groups who work with intelligence agencies do so for the money, as did Snowden.

The sensitivity of that information is why the agency gives aptitude and intelligence tests, requires applicants to pass a lie-detector test and survive a background check to assess their integrity. Those background checks are designed to weed out anyone who might use the information for personal gain; but there is a distinct possibility one or two might. If they do, they are punished.

The agency tolerates no missteps. When I had a friend who converted to civilian status from the Air Force he had the proper background check and proper clearances. But I heard later, after he was long gone, that he began an up-close-and-pe rsonal, one-on-one relationship with a married woman. He was out immediately because the trust was compromised.

The agency is so sensitive to possible blackmail that any bit of naughtiness gets you gone in a hurry.
 
 
+2 # JJS 2013-06-17 17:46
It does come down to accountability. Are you a gov't employee with checks and balances or a private contractor with processes and procedures?
 
 
-2 # tabonsell 2013-06-18 10:18
I have been down the road and around the corner a couple of times.

Spent five years at NSA (three as a member of the United States Air Force Security Service and two as a civilian to pay for graduate study at Georgetown University.)

So I know firsthand how NSA handles its employees who misuse their position and I know how theConstitution handles this situation.

That's two things the detractors don't have going for them. But that doesn't stop them from pretending to be expert on the issues.

I also spend 20 years as a journalist where being neutral and depending on reality are of utmost concern.
 
 
0 # tauzinger 2013-06-18 18:48
That is comforting to hear, but how many other Snowden's are there in the NSA? He did what he did not for personal gain but joined (from what we know so far) for patriotic reasons, but became disillusioned with policy. People are people, and when I read stories of the FBI colluding with banks to crack down on the (peaceful) Occupy movement as if they were terrorists I just can't help to think that I don't want to trust the government with the metadata that has so much potential for abuse that it's not funny. Maybe a compromise would be to encrypt the phone numbers the government gets from the telcos. They can still mine for patterns and get the plaintext numbers decrypted from a court on demand. The entire communication patterns of the whole nation is nothing that the government should have. It should not be legal. People laugh at Mayor Bloomberg because he wants to save lives by limiting soda consumption, a laudable goal, because it restricts their freedom, yet they have no trouble giving away much more of their freedom for arguably saving fewer lives. It just doesn't make sense.
 
 
+37 # ligonlaw 2013-06-16 13:56
Message to the NSA: If you thought you heard me ordering sex tapes, I was really ordering "six" tapes.
 
 
+12 # Michael_K 2013-06-16 14:05
This means that O'Bomba LIED to America last week (yet again!)
 
 
-1 # tbcrawford8 2013-06-17 13:36
You really do give Obama credit for an awful lot. Why, he's superman!..How about a little thought behind your rhetoric. Would make a far better conversation!
 
 
0 # Michael_K 2013-06-22 09:55
Your mindless defense of the indefensible isn't anything remotely resembling "conversation".
 
 
+18 # pazzie 2013-06-16 14:32
I don't suppose it has occurred to anyone that big business - who would be big friends with companies that collect all this data -- would want to access people's creative ideas and innovations, and therefore keep 'competition' down?

These companies, like the new private prison industry, are unregulated and unsupervised by any entity responsible to the people of this nation, or any other, and therefore can sell, distribute and use any information gleaned for their own purposes. Although they would, undoubtedly 'swear' they would never do so. We can most certainly rest safe that they swear they wouldn't steal or profit, personally, from what they collect.

We are so worried about what may be used against us if our secrets were revealed, it never occurs to us that we might be being 'mined' for our own golden ideas!

There may be much more at stake here than we think.
 
 
+22 # BobboMax 2013-06-16 14:33
If I trusted our government, this wouldn't be a big deal. BUT governments in general, and our government in specific, have repeatedly shown themselves not to be trustworthy. The standard line is "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The NSA/FBI/CIA intelligence complex seems to have given itself absolute power over our personal information. It's not realistic to expect this hasn't led to a thousand kinds of corruption.

I think this problem has two sources. One is people like Cheney, Addington and Poindexter, whom I consider to be functionally evil in their pursuit of control over others' lives. (They may not actually be evil, but they unquestionably act that way, so it doesn't matter.)

I've read that a significant percentage of the American public feels the actions of the NSA/CIA/FBI are undesirable, but necessary for security. These are the other source, "well-intention ed" people, often driven by fear, who are too narrow-minded in their pursuit of security- they acknowledge their trespasses, but are unable to understand their solutions are worse than the problems and are unable to conceive of any other solutions.
 
 
0 # JJS 2013-06-17 17:49
Quoting BobboMax:
.....The NSA/FBI/CIA intelligence complex seems to have given itself absolute power over our personal information. .....


No, our representatives voted to keep the Patriot Act alive even though it should had sun-setted.
 
 
+17 # Arden 2013-06-16 14:36
It is the potential for abuse that is the problem with spying, spying beyond a certain point, that is. We spied to learn the truth about 9/11. We have enough of that truth now to quit the wholesale spying.

Now we need to sit down and communicate and decide what kind of world we want to live in. We should be truthful with one another. There is no need for secrecy, but there IS a need for privacy.

It is a world for everyone, not just the privileged.
 
 
+11 # NOMINAE 2013-06-16 19:10
Quoting Arden:
It is the potential for abuse that is the problem with spying, spying beyond a certain point, that is. We spied to learn the truth about 9/11. We have enough of that truth now to quit the wholesale spying......

It is a world for everyone, not just the privileged.


Absolutely ! Just look at the OBVIOUS fact that all the billion$ we were spending on Intelligence services BEFORE 9/11 didn't do SQUAT to PREVENT 9/11. Not even when some Security Bulletins for President Bush were HEADLINED: "Bin Laden Determined To Strike Inside The U.S." !

All of the fear and the scare tactics surrounding "Terrorists" is about 98% phony justification for SPYING ON and CONTROLLING activists, protestors, whistleblowers, and, in truth, the GENERAL PUBLIC of the United States.

The FBI literally charges protesters under the Espionage Act.
( Chicago 2012, anyone ? Had to go to "Democracy Now" to hear that one reported, didn't you ?) The FBI was arresting known protestors as "terrorists" just for showing UP in Chicago, before they could actually DO *anything* !

The question is not whether these Surveillance powers will EVER be abused, they have BEEN BEING abused since 9/11. One man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter".

This stuff has been going on literally since before the 1950s, but the technologies have now made it ever so much more fun.

J. Edgar Hoover would be swooning in *ecstasy* over the capabilities of today's technology.
 
 
+4 # BobboMax 2013-06-16 14:45
Tom Engelhardt, at tomdispatch.com , has written an excellent column expressing thoughts similar to mine, more eloquently and in greater detail.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175713/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_you_are_our_secret/?utm_source=TomDispatch&utm_campaign=e452611158-TD_Engelhardt6_16_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1e41682ade-e452611158-308740725#more
 
 
+17 # Scooter721 2013-06-16 15:43
Seems Orwell may have been an optimist!!!
 
 
+15 # zippybob 2013-06-16 15:51
Any ligit didident group can be targeted and shout down throuh intimination etc they could clump all the Occupy wall st group and cause them to go away I heard there was a grass roots anti fracking group that had all its members put on an FBI terriost watch list the ramifacations of this knowing how each citizen feels abot issues through faceboo and gogle search is a nightmare

Zippy
 
 
0 # hammermann 2013-06-17 09:31
Zippy, your keyboard is worse than mine.
 
 
0 # Starheart 2013-06-16 15:56
ADMITTING JUST SOME OF THE UNCONTITUTIONAL ACTS..... BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MORE SERIOUS CRIMINAL ACTS WHEN IT HAS GONE FROM SEARCHES, SURVEILLANCE AND STALKING TO BURGLARIES NOW!: http://www.change.org/petitions/house-of-representatives-impeach-obama-stop-using-the-fbi-watch-list-for-targeted-burglaries

I'VE REPORTED ILLEGAL ENTRIES AND CALLING CARDS LEFT SINCE BEFORE 2005 TO JIM MCDERMOTT AND THE ACLU, BEFORE MY NAME CHANGE FROM SUSAN ELMES,...... & TO THIS DAY I'VE RECEIVED HELP FROM NONE OF THEM OR ANY OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION!
 
 
+3 # DesertProgressive 2013-06-17 06:48
This has been going on forever and it's not just Obama. I wonder what the real number of innocent citizens targeted by abusive thugs is (tens or hundreds of thousands or more?). These tyrants will never be held accountable for the horrendous crimes they commit - while the system blocks Constitutional rights to their targets along with any chance for recourse, redress, or justice.

It doesn't matter if you've ever done anything 'wrong'. If you're on a list, it's over.
 
 
+10 # dascher 2013-06-16 16:14
there are no rules. there is no law. there is no rule of law.

That's just exactly what we need to be safe. From the bogeyman!!!

This lack of respect for the intelligence of the American public is insulting - even though it might be what most of us deserve as we sit on our hands knowing what we know about how National Security States have operated for the past 100 years or so.

It's gotta stop.
 
 
+10 # Bruce Gruber 2013-06-16 18:32
Self incrimination, under the security state concept, is nothing but sharp policing and high tech sneakiness, right??

Recording and archiving your personal views for later trial as traitors, subversives, or enemies of the state can be viewed by various administrations for various purposes. Cheney might see criticism as demanding punishment and Obama might construe racist remarks as anti-American ... who knows. Goebbels and Hitler felt admission of Jewishness warranted execution. Authoritarianis m by a powerful executive is fraught with so many variables ... what a wonder we behold by opening this Pandora's Box to extinguish the basic Rights of the US Constitution.
 
 
+6 # Diane 2013-06-16 18:35
How can Rep. Nadler or anyone else, for that matter, be surprised that the NSA has been doing this? After 911, we were too full of fear to pay attention to what the Patriot Act was telling us. We have no one to blame but ourselves and our own pathetic weakness.
 
 
+5 # mrbadexample 2013-06-16 18:38
For those not following the case of Jeremy Hammond (a 'hacktivist' who published records from Stratfor, a private intelligence firm), the way this works is simple. Intelligence agencies are prohibited by law from certain activities, so they either hand over responsibility to others (by hiring companies like Stratfor and XE-formerly Blackwater) to do the dirty work and then use the information as an end-run, or they claim in court that an analyst 'accidentally' heard this information. This is in direct contravention of the rules set up for the NSA from years back. In THE PUZZLE PALACE, author James Bamford mentioned that the NSA knew that calls were going back and forth from payphones in Grand Central to La Cosa Nostra contacts in Italy. The NSA couldn't act then to pass that information on to the FBI. But apparently they can now.
 
 
+12 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-06-16 18:49
They can, so they do, despite what they say. Who needs a conspiracy theory? It’s now all right out there in the open. Thanks, Mr. Snowden.
 
 
+1 # Smiley 2013-06-16 20:33
The ghosts of our founding fathers are crying.
 
 
+3 # universlman 2013-06-16 20:42
So THAT was the secret that could only be told to the members of Congress at a secret briefing: that the NSA has dumped the Constitution.

Thank God for Snowden and now Nadler. I hate to think what is coming next.
 
 
+3 # DaveM 2013-06-16 21:08
While in college, my brother spent six months touring various nations in the Far East and taking classes there. As he arrived in each country, the group was met by someone who delivered a lecture on Thou Shalt Nots, sometimes someone from the embassy, other times just someone the college had a contact with.

Most of it was the usual stuff--stay away from drugs ad prostitutes, etc. But when the group was going into China, they were advised not to make phone calls and to be very careful about the content of any letters sent while there--better, the "adviser" said, to wait and send them from another country.

Someone asked if there was concern that the Chinese listened in on phone conversations. The reply was short and to the point: "we don't think it's the Chinese".
 
 
+5 # cafetomo 2013-06-16 22:57
NSA-cleared technicians. Wasn't Snowden one of those? They're doing everything they can to call him unqualified, but what does that make the guys who hired him? Apparently, recipients of a multi-billion dollar government contract.
 
 
0 # RobertMStahl 2013-06-17 03:53
Remember the phone call [sic] made from the airplane in Pennsylvania on 9/11, obviously faked? Around the courthouse in Birmingham, AL they started digging up the streets to put in fiber optics an hour or two before the first tower was hit. Whatever the machinery involved, it involves the maintenance of ignorance. A couple of days before the Iraq war I just gave up verbally and put all my eggs into a piece of art in front of the IMAX theater, an obelisk of solid, liquid, and gas that indicated to me the human race was on the right track, evolutionary in step with time. I spoke to an art friend over the phone from my office about it. The next day the piece was hit by a car, oddly, since it was so far off the road. They never began to fix it until months later when I stepped in and asked if they had insurance. This was in 2003. Today, the gas, which is steam, never runs, or runs almost never. Instead, an insidious design has been caught in a photo with the replacing of the steam with fire.

The artificial intelligence they are covering up is so basic and inexpensive and serves the commonwealth so steadfastly if used properly, you would be astonished, vis a vis parallel processing, like stopping the subways from crashing in Tokyo. It works while it fully occupies its niche. Furthermore, it cannot be divorced from the niche and work somewhere else. IT grows, and it learns, truly. This IS a sick operation by our tax dollars. Where is Indira Singh?
 
 
+7 # librarian1984 2013-06-17 05:21
(1) Six degrees of Kevin Bacon. If they look at suspects and their contacts, all it takes is six generations of calls to connect you to any criminal or terrorist.

(2) This isn't a few well-regulated people making these determinations. This is THOUSANDS of analysts entrusted with access to the most intimate details of your communication. If ANY ONE of them decides that you're a problem, or that he's going to find out what his girlfriend's up to while he's at work, or wants to get back at an old employer, or blackmail somebody ....

(3) Think of all the cable guys you've dealt with, all the plumbers, the auto mechanics, the tattoo artists, the receptionists, the waiters, the IT guys, the hairdressers, the sales clerks. What percentage is really GREAT at their job, and what percentage is okay fine, and what percentage is downright incompetent? It works the same way with analysts. Most are at least fine and some are great. But there is a percentage that is incompetent, and a percentage that is psychotic. And what if you or someone you know is at the receiving end of incompetence or evil? These people have a LOT of power over you, a lot of potential to mess you up royally. And maybe you think the odds are with you and Obama's people are basically decent. But what about when Dick Cheney's clone is "elected". Will you feel so safe and snug then?

This is about a million disasters waiting to happen.
At this point I would almost settle for some honest-to-goodn ess Good Will.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2013-06-17 08:29
Quoting McCollugh: "The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls."

That's anti-climatic. Either way, I'll assert that this a violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution based on unreasonable search and seizure of information, private or not.
 
 
+2 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-06-17 10:00
Ok so can we shut this down now. This is clearly lawless and unconstitutiona l.

This is used for one thing only BLACKMAIL! We now know why congress capitulates on everything. They are being blackmailed no doubt.
 
 
-1 # Scott Galindez 2013-06-18 09:49
Quoting RobertMStahl:
Remember the phone call [sic] made from the airplane in Pennsylvania on 9/11, obviously faked?


Obvious in what way? You can get a signal while in an airplane.
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-06-18 20:49
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged this week that the agency's analysts have the ability to access the "content of a call."

And for Feinstein, you (or Edward Snowden) are a traitor for saying that.

And you can trust the NSA not to monitor your phone calls, even though the NSA has for-profit corporations deciding what information to collect, information that can be sold in the market place.

And you can trust Obama: your phone calls are not being monitored or mined for your data.

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!....
 

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