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NSA Collecting Verizon Phone Records, Guardian Rep

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by Barrelbulge(Fl), Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Aug 27, 2007
    West Central Florida
    The Obama administration is collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S.-based Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) customers, relying on a secret court order obtained under a Bush administration policy that sparked a national controversy, the Guardian newspaper reported.

    White House officials declined to comment on the report that the FBI was granted a court order in April that required Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with information about calls inside the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries on a daily and “ongoing” basis.

    Enlarge image
    NSA Said to Cull Millions of Verizon Records Under Court Order David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
    Pedestrians use their phones in front of a store in San Francisco.

    Pedestrians use their phones in front of a store in San Francisco. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
    .The April 25 order from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court covers telephone numbers as well as the location and duration of calls, according to the Guardian, which said it obtained a copy of the document. The order doesn’t apply to the content of customers’ conversations and expires on July 19, the newspaper said.

    News of the order emerged as President Barack Obama’s administration is being challenged over its regard for civil liberties. The Justice Department, as part of its inquiries into leaks of national-security information, has obtained search warrants for telephone records of journalists from the Associated Press and Fox News, prompting protests from U.S. lawmakers and media-advocacy groups.

    The disclosure may put further pressure on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who’s under fire for targeting reporters in the crackdown on leaks. It also may weigh on the nomination of Obama’s choice as the next Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James B. Comey.

    ‘Beyond Orwellian’
    Privacy-rights advocates issued swift protests upon learning of the Guardian report, calling the data collection an intrusion on millions of innocent Americans. The American Civil Liberties Union called for the Obama administration to halt the program and disclose its scope and asked Congress to investigate.

    “It is beyond Orwellian,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. It shows “the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

    It wasn’t clear whether the NSA is pursuing similar surveillance through other U.S. telecommunications companies.

    White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden referred questions to the NSA, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, and the FBI. Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, and Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden declined to comment.

    Sept. 11
    The Verizon data-collection order was signed 10 days after the Boston Marathon bombing killed three people and injured more than 260 in the highest-profile terrorist incident on U.S. soil since 2001. U.S. agencies vastly expanded surveillance efforts during the past 12 years in a bid to avoid a repeat of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

    President George W. Bush’s administration began the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with intelligence agencies secretly conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. phone calls and e-mails without court warrants.

    Congress passed a law in 2008 codifying parts of the program and allowing intelligence agencies to get broad electronic surveillance orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    Terrorist Activities
    That law, updating the more than three-decade-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, lets intelligence agencies monitor the e-mail, Internet activity and phone calls of non-U.S. citizens reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S. and involved in terrorist activities or other crimes. Congress voted last year to extend it until the end of 2017.

    “We’ve been saying for over a decade that the law is incredibly broad and could be interpreted to allow something like this, but people didn’t believe it,” said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel of the ACLU. “Now that there is hard proof, hopefully this will force Congress to take a look at it.”

    In 2012, there were 212 such FISA orders, known as “business records requests,” according to a letter from the Justice Department to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The letter doesn’t specify the targets or scope of the requests.

    “Once a year they send a report to Congress that says here’s how many orders we did, here’s how many wiretaps, here’s how many national security letters,” Richardson said.

    ‘Worst Fears’
    The Guardian report marks the first time since broad surveillance was authorized in 2008 that an unredacted order has come to light, Richardson said.

    “It confirms the worst fears that these tools are not being used in a targeted manner just against suspected terrorists and spies,” she said

    Richardson said she is concerned the NSA is obtaining orders covering all major U.S. phone providers and Internet as well as phone data.

    The disclosure has the potential to spiral into controversy for U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as the NSA is part of the Pentagon. It may also emerge as an issue for the president’s incoming national security adviser, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, whom he announced as the replacement for Tom Donilon starting next month.

    Senators led by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul unsuccessfully tried to amend last year’s legislation extending FISA so it would have included what they said were needed provisions to protect the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.

    ‘Government Overreach’
    “‘While I cannot corroborate the details of this particular report, this sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking,” Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, said in an e-mailed statement.

    Udall voted against renewing the surveillance law last year. At the time, he said the law doesn’t ensure the privacy of Americans and complained the Obama administration had refused to disclose how many U.S. citizens had their communications monitored by the NSA.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net; Chris Strohm in Washington at cstrohm1@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net; Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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    Showing 3 of 74 comments on NSA Collecting Verizon Phone Records, Guardian Reports
    carolynn 0 minutes ago 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand If you have no moral compass, you have man, and man with no moral compass becomes tyrannical.
    What did you think would happen if you took the moral compass that made the country great out of the schools and workplace. What did you think would happen if you substituted 'civil rights' for generosity of spirit? You got a mosque at GZ...doesn't THAT feel good? "Civil rights' is redistribution of wealth using a rationalization you scarf down like chocolate pudding laced with arsenic. Social justice is compromised justice, redistribution.

    A Like Reply 0 Like
    F .
    carolynn 6 minutes ago 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand Men left to themselves with no moral compass disintegrate into tyranny. I suggest that perhaps the freedom and privacy we all want and revere as rights granted by God, not the state, are to be found in a moral boundary of scripture that sustained our country for hundreds of years and whose heartfelt tenets were repeated by statesmen nationwide as they humbled themselves before God and gave him the thanks for the greatness of our country.

    A Like Reply 0 Like
    F .
    carolynn 11 minutes ago 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with passions unbridled by morality and religion." John Adams

    Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take prayer out of schools. Tyranny is less attractive than freedom.

    A Like Reply 1 Like F .
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  2. drgondog

    drgondog Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    I put the RT article on Facebook early this morning - many have shared it already ,

    As you may surmise most of my 'friends' are conservative - and they Get It.
  3. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Oxford MA
    What I found interesting was that these officials seem to believe that everyone is stupid.

    "An administration official today defended such information collection as a “critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.”"

    They would have us all believe that these tools are being used to protect the nation. Yet we support 20 million illegals in this country While they shove it in and break it off daily.

    Yet the same officials want the illegal immigrants to be pardoned for their invasion of this country. As an example the borders of this nation are wide open for all aliens to just cross and do what even they please, terrorism and criminal acts not excluded.

    Bob Lawless
  4. CharlieAMA

    CharlieAMA TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Jan 29, 1998
    God's Country
    Of course, they are going to blame the Bush Administration for this one.
  5. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Oxford MA
    "Of course, they are going to blame the Bush Administration for this one."

    That is the trouble with how laws are passed in this country. One Congress passes a law with a purpose in mind. Then the next one comes along and picks up the bait and runs with it to suit there own needs.

    Then they blame it on the last one, the one that passed it to begin with.

    Bob Lawless
  6. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Eastern Washington
    Megan Kelly just interviewed one of the writers of the Patriot Act. He said the present administration has taken it "past" what it was intended to do.

    The Business part had to have a "suspect" and only the "suspects" records could be collected!! "suspect" is NOT a Business name it refers to a "person or persons".

    Might be getting a little hotter for present democrats and liberals!!
  7. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    “We are very much under threat," Graham said on "Fox & Friends," adding that he is a customer of Verizon, the communications company ordered to turn over the records to the government. "Radical Islam is on the rise throughout the region. Homegrown terrorism is one of my biggest concerns. It is happening in our own backyard, and I am glad that NSA is trying to find out what terrorists are up to overseas and inside the country."<BR>
    Ari Fleischer, President's George W. Bush's former press secretary, wrote on Twitter that Obama "is carrying out Bush's fourth term" with drone strikes, phone surveillance and Guantanamo Bay. "Just to be clear & so silent liberals understand, I support President O's anti-terror actions. They're bi-partisan now," he wrote.<BR>
    Rep. Mike Rogers, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Thursday that the program had stopped at least one serious domestic terror attack within the past year, according to the AP."
  8. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    "The Patriot Act has faced ongoing legal challenges by the American Civil Liberties Union, and in recent years, some members of Congress who had originally supported the bill have come to mistrust the Bush administration’s interpretation of the law. Nevertheless, a Republican-controlled Congress passed and Bush signed a renewal of the controversial Patriot Act in March 2006. Bush exacerbated the controversy over the renewal of the act by issuing a so-called "signing statement"—an executive exemption from enforcing or abiding by certain clauses within the law—immediately afterward."
  9. beeper

    beeper Member

    Dec 12, 2007

  10. 548

    548 Guest

    I am so glad this came to light. Thank you Democrats for using every tool in the toolbox to keep us safe.

    Bush was hand delivered a memo on August 6th 2001 stating that Osama Bin Laden was preparing to drive planes into American buildings and he didn't bother to read or act upon it. 35 days later, well you know what happened.