Yes, I know there is a need for this kind of surveillance to stop another 9/11 from happening but come on….
The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.
The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.
The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.
Obama: “We don’t have a domestic spying program”….riiiight. And oversight?
Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. “There’s technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance,” he says.
But wait…didn’t Obama say there was oversight going on “from all three branches of government”?
Where was the “three branches of government” during the widespread abuse of the NSA surveillance authority? Where was the “three branches of government” when the NSA taught its analysts how to hide information from those in charge of oversight? Hell, Diane Feinstein admitted she knew nothing about the widespread abuse and only learned about it from the news.
So this is the kind of oversight that should make us feel all warm and cuddly about the NSA surveillance?
Well, with that kind of oversight, or lack thereof, todays report that the NSA gathers 75% of all domestic internet traffic doesn’t make me feel warm and cuddly whatsoever…