NSA: We Can Listen To Phone Calls & Read Emails

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. pspr


    It seems the warnings from Snowden were correct. The NSA needs to be taken to the government woodshed. Our privacy is gone by governmental decree!

    The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that <b>it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.</b>

    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.

  2. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Cheney did a nice job of coming out of his lair to support the NSA program and call Snowden a Chinese spy and traitor. Man, the world's coming to an end. Cheney supporting the Obama administration. When do we start calling Obama the Black Bush?
  3. Crispy


    Statists are all the same color dude....yellow, cowardly pricks.
  4. Obama did not take any action against china after moaning about China's spying. Turns out he was too busy spying on his own people.
  5. wjk


    Yes, we can!!!!! [​IMG]

    Wait...that response doesn't belong here! It belongs in a thread titled "Chant of the Obama drones". Let me fix it.

    "Can you here me now?"

    "Yes, we can!!!!!"
  6. achilles28