What the tin foil hat crowd has been jumping up and down about for years now makes the Washington Post and the light of day. Yes, Virginia, the NSA is spying on you. That great Utah spy center that stores all of our data is real. Now we are all under the eye of Hal. Hal….Hal… let me in……. Read the full Post story. It will chill the marrow of you bones. Here we go:
A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy. The ACLU of Massachusetts blog Privacy SOS explains why this is important:
What does this rule change mean for you? In short, domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages. FBI agents don’t need to have any “national security” related reason to plug your name, email address, phone number, or other “selector” into the NSA’s gargantuan data trove. They can simply poke around in your private information in the course of totally routine investigations. And if they find something that suggests, say, involvement in illegal drug activity, they can send that information to local or state police. That means information the NSA collects for purposes of so-called “national security” will be used by police to lock up ordinary Americans for routine crimes. And we don’t have to guess who’s going to suffer this unconstitutional indignity the most brutally. It’ll be Black, Brown, poor, immigrant, Muslim, and dissident Americans: the same people who are always targeted by law enforcement for extra “special” attention.
And it certainly isn’t the only time national security apparatus has let law enforcement agencies benefit from policies that are supposed to be reserved for terrorism investigations in order to get around the Fourth Amendment, then instructed those law enforcement agencies to misdirect, fudge and outright lie about how they obtained incriminating information — see the Stingray debacle. This isn’t just a few rogue agents. The lying has been a matter of policy. We’re now learning that the feds had these agreements with police agencies all over thecountry, affecting thousands of cases.
On the one hand, I guess it’s better that this new data-sharing policy is acknowledged in the open instead of carried out surreptitiously. On the other hand, there’s something even more ominous about the fact that they no longer feel as though they need to hide it. More at the Washington Post.
Don’t say we didn’t say so NSA stores metadata on millions of Americans for one year October 2, 2013.
Vote Tally Count Senate NSA Data Spying restrictions voted down November 19, 2014
Here the filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.