What the NSA has access to about you and me..without a FISA warrant
Posted by Dusty, hells most vocal bitch
Surely it won’t be a surprise to most folks that follow what is going on, it wasn’t to me. The TPM muckraker has a WSJ piece up this morning that they explain well enough that it opened my eyes pretty wide before I even had a cuppa coffee. Just the opening salvo from the WSJ piece:
Five years ago, Congress killed an experimental Pentagon antiterrorism program meant to vacuum up electronic data about people in the U.S. to search for suspicious patterns. Opponents called it too broad an intrusion on Americans’ privacy, even after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
But the data-sifting effort didn’t disappear. The National Security Agency, once confined to foreign surveillance, has been building essentially the same system.
The central role the NSA has come to occupy in domestic intelligence gathering has never been publicly disclosed. But an inquiry reveals that its efforts have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
See, silly me, I thought those assholes needed at least a friggin FISA warrant for all that information. Here is what Paul Kiel surmised over at TPM:
Gorman describes the NSA’s effort (elements of which have been reported before) as basically a resurrection of the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program, which of course was de-funded by Congress once the details became public. This time around, of course, the details have remained secret. Although the budget for the NSA’s driftnet is classified, Gorman cites one official as estimating it at $1 billion.
Ah yes..the TIA program. I remember hearing Gonzo talk about that when he was being grilled by the folks in the Congressional hearing many moons ago. The ability to know all things about all Americans..and so cheaply too! Only a billion? Hell, with the war costing millions a day..what’s another billion?