“Ordinary Americans’ most private emails have been and still are being intercepted in bulk and then stored in secret NSA databases, without probable cause,” said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer with the campaign group Electronic Frontier Foundation.”
“The database system, called Pinwale, is used by America’s National Security Agency to intercept and examine huge volumes of email passing through American telecommunications networks. The NSA has confirmed that Pinwale exists.”
The current administration’s platform during the election campaign was decidedly against the privacy instrusions of the prior administration and yet, oddly…well not so oddly because they have changed their mind on a couple of things they promised so far…the current administration is not in a rush to dismantle the warrantless wiretapping instrastructure that was built after 9/11. Both Harpers and the New York Times discuss the concerns with the unconstitutional Pinwale surveillance program.
When George Bush was cornered on why he had authorized the NSA to perform warrantless wiretaps, he said he had the right to do so as it was his “constitutional responsibility.” Nothing in the Constitution gives the president this right. Do I think Bush lied when he said that? No. I think he doesn’t understand or agree with the purpose of the Constitution which is to protect personal freedoms, not to expand the reach of government into the personal lives of its citizens, no matter how much doing so seems to “help protect us” at the time.
The path to hell is paved with good intentions. So is the path to socialism.
The AT&T facility above is just one of over a dozen facilities that are copying every email, IM and phone call that travels over AT&T’s fiber optic cables and sending the copy off to the NSA to do with, God knows what. And that’s the problem, they could do whatever they want with it.
The UK government, meanwhile, intends to create a series of databases keeping track of every phone call, email and text message in Britain.
Categories: Government Failures