The NSA wants to have a record of every call ever made in the U.S.
I was joking with a friend on the phone yesterday because she and I were making plans for Saturday, and she made mention of a particular word. I said,
"Careful, They may be wiretapping us, you know."
The government is collecting "external" data on domestic phone calls but is not intercepting "internals," a term for the actual content of the communication, according to a U.S. intelligence official familiar with the program. This kind of data collection from phone companies is not uncommon; it's been done before, though never on this large a scale, the official said. The data are used for "social network analysis," the official said, meaning to study how terrorist networks contact each other and how they are tied together.Or so they say. I can't help but feel violated. Qwest Communications has so far been the only telecommunications company to not comply.
Bush gave a little speech today to defend the NSA's actions. Check out how the speech begins. No surprises here (emphasis mine, natch):
After September the 11th, I vowed to the American people that our government would do everything within the law to protect them against another terrorist attack. As part of this effort, I authorized the National Security Agency to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. In other words, if al Qaeda or their associates are making calls into the United States or out of the United States, we want to know what they're saying.But you're collecting data from everyone. Including me. You callin' me al Qaeda, dumbass?
We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda and their known affiliates. So far we've been very successful in preventing another attack on our soil.Ugh. Here we go again. This man must be stopped.
(Props to AMERICAblog for the heads up.)