Update (5/12/2006, 11:26 AM): This story has been picked up by Hammer of Truth and Homeland Stupidity. Homeland Stupidity also has a second article explaining the details of what is in the records and who can see them. The author is a former MCI employee. There is also an AP Article on the (limited) congressional response that has already begun (HT: Sister Toldjah)
For those of you who might not know, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued telecom giant AT&T alleging that AT&T improperly assisted the NSA in listening to Americans' phone calls without the proper warrants. On April 28, the government tried to have the case dismissed based on its 'state secrets' privelege. The litigation is ongoing.
Now, USA Today is reporting that not only AT&T but also Verizon and BellSouth, have been assisting the NSA in constructing the largest database of calling records in history. It appears that the source and destination of essentially every phone call made one these carriers, including names and addresses, has been collected, and this collection has been going on since shortly after the September 11 attacks. (The program doesn't actually listen to the phone calls, or so they say.) The government has no warrants or FISA approval whatsoever for this data mining. As a result, Qwest, apparently the only telecom with any integrity, has refused to cooperate. When Qwest suggested that the government get warrants from FISA, the NSA allegedly told them that "they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them."
I want further congressional inquiries, I want them now, I want them done quickly, and when Congress is done inquiring, it would be nice if it actually did something about it! Maybe Grace would like to be the NSA's mother too, and she can send them to their room until they apologize.
(HT: Slashdot)Posted by Kenny at May 11, 2006 4:48 PM
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