Thursday, May 11, 2006


USA TODAY has the talker of Thursday:
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews ...

In defending the previously disclosed program, Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international calls. "In other words," Bush explained, "one end of the communication must be outside the United States."

As a result, domestic call records — those of calls that originate and terminate within U.S. borders — were believed to be private.

Sources, however, say that is not the case. With access to records of billions of domestic calls, the NSA has gained a secret window into the communications habits of millions of Americans. Customers' names, street addresses and other personal information are not being handed over as part of NSA's domestic program, the sources said. But the phone numbers the NSA collects can easily be cross-checked with other databases to obtain that information.
Only Qwest has refused to bend over and comply with the government's rape. The result:
Trying to put pressure on Qwest, NSA representatives pointedly told Qwest that it was the lone holdout among the big telecommunications companies. It also tried appealing to Qwest's patriotic side: In one meeting, an NSA representative suggested that Qwest's refusal to contribute to the database could compromise national security, one person recalled.
There is nothing to joke about, no smart-ass crack to make. Our phone habits are being monitored. Our government is actively spying on us. This is not America.


Anonymous said...

Preemption friends, It aint just for the Terrrrorrists anymore.

Anonymous said...

Sad thing is, it won't end, even with a total transfusion of government. Both parties are complicit; what few there are, from either party, that aren't involved in this Big Bro' putsch, are far and few in between.

I trust exactly one politician: Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The rest are suspects, IMO.

Anonymous said...

We all need to get fifteen kinds of pissed off about this and protest and do whatever else we can. Bullshit. Utter bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Libertarian Guy .... seems to me this time you have fallen prey to the big problem of Libertarians ... you live in a world of simple, big ideas ... which too often aren't sufficiently nuanced to deal with reality.

Case in point: claiming there's no difference between the Republicans and Democrats on the issue of personal rights and privacy.

Shame on you. It's the GOP that has created all this havoc and trashed the Constitution ... they are responsible for warrantless wiretaps, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, NSA spying, etc etc etc.

But you take the easy way out and blame both parties for these events. I believe Ralph Nader also says there is no difference between the two parties. Some company to be in!

It's not that simple. Put away your copy of Atlas Shrugged and start responding to reality, not to a bunch of black/white simplifications.

Your pal, Korny

Anonymous said...

Actually, I've never read Atlas Shrugged all the way through. Never been an Objectivist, although I give Rand her props for believing in her cause.

Do you really think this all started on the first day of W's first term, or that it will magically disappear with a mere change in empty suits? The groundwork was laid long before, by his ol' man and by Clinton.

No, it's NOT that simple, but it doesn't need to be artifically over-complicated, either.