The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The NSA - Illegally Spying on Americans

I don’t know if anyone reads these posts, but in the hopes that someone out there is listening…

Today, we found out that the Bush Administration’s claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) does not mine personal data from phone calls and does not spy on Americans are simply not true. According to USAToday, the NSA has developed a massive database that documents what numbers you call, what phone calls you receive, when the phone calls occur, and how long you talk. According to one source, the goal of this spying program is “to create a database of every call ever made.” AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth are all apparently guilty of colluding with the US Government to provide this data. Combined, these three telephone giants serve over 200 million US citizens. The only major telecommunications company that refused to cooperate was Qwest. Good for you, Qwest!

Although USAToday’s sources state that the names of people associated with each phone number are not being turned over by these phone companies, the sources point out that the government already has databases that link names with phone numbers, so the NSA has the ability to determine exactly who you called and who called you.

The USA article can be found here:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-11-nsa-reax_x.htm

Remember that leading up to the 2004 election, Bush publicly stated that, “Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.”

As it turns out, that was SIMPLY NOT TRUE. A good summary of all the untruths by the Bush Administration relating to illegal wiretaps can be found at this site:
http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2005/12/bush_on_wiretap.html

Then, when the story broke last December that the NSA was conducting wiretaps on Americans without court orders, and without the required judicial or legislative oversight, the President insisted that at least one person on the line had to be an Al Qaeda operative or be suspected of being a terrorist operative.

In April of 2006, Mark Klein, an AT&T technician, reported to the New York Times that AT&T was routing Internet data into NSA computers. Mr. Klein stated that AT&T was tapping into the Worldnet (AT&T’s Internet circuits), “Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of this administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA's spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA's charter or with FISA. And unlike the controversy over targeted wiretaps of individuals' phone calls, this potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of internet communications of countless citizens.”

An account of what Mr. Klein witnessed can be found here:
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70619-0.html

On May 2, 2006, AT&T petitioned a San Francisco court for an injunction so that they won’t have to testify about what they have been doing because they claimed the information was a protected state secret. This seemed extremely suspicious -- almost certainly corroborating Mr. Klein’s report.

Now, we find out that the NSA has been collecting information about nearly every phone call made in the US -- information that typically requires a court order to be obtained.

Bush has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of this new discovery, but since it would have been very easy to deny such a program in today's news conference if it didn’t exist, Occam’s Razor (the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation) dictates that the program clearly does exist. Frankly, who knows, it could even be more sinister than USAToday reports…

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF OUR GOVERNMENT!

THE NSA’S ACTIVITIES ARE CLEARLY ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS BROKEN NEARLY EVERY PRIVACY LAW ON THE BOOKS AND NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN AMERICA, PLEASE CALL OR WRITE YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR IS UNACCEPTABLE AND UNAMERICAN.

NOTHING LESS THAN YOUR FREEDOM AND PRIVACY ARE AT STAKE.

-John Locke

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