The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
To be clear, collecting “metadata” of numbers, cell tower locations, etc. isn’t quite the same thing as listening in on every single conversation. But that doesn’t mean this shouldn’t give you the creeps, particularly if you’re a Verizon customer (as we are). And don’t worry, I’m sure there are similar orders out there for AT&T so their customers don’t feel left out.
There could be a perfectly legitimate reason for this, but I doubt it. Given all of the current revelations, it would be foolish to presume good will on the part of the guv’mint. Let’s run down what we’ve learned just in the past few weeks:
– The IRS ‘fessed up to targeting conservative and libertarian groups for harassment. Said harassment included demands for information that no reasonable person could be expected to provide, all under the penalty of perjury.
– In the meantime, liberal groups sailed through the same process. In the case of “Organizing for America”, tax-exempt status was granted retroactively.
– Pro-life groups were asked to detail the content of their prayers and activities conducted during prayer meetings, and required to sign affidavits that they would not exercise their rights to free speech by demonstrating at Planned Parenthood facilities.
– The EPA is showing similar favoritism by gumming up the works (which is what they do best) for companies, organizations, and individuals who don’t suit their politics. That is, they’re targeting groups that don’t bow before the altar of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
– EPA’s actions included disclosing private information on private citizens (specifically, farmers) to environmental extremist groups.
– The IRS performed a similar service by disclosing information on prominent (and not-so-prominent) conservative donors. This information, including their tax returns, went to “progessive” interest groups. I doubt their intent was to invite them over for a few drinks and a game of cards.
This actually explains a lot. I had volunteered twice last year to be a poll-watcher for True the Vote, but never heard back from them. Now I know why – the group’s founder was too busy digging out from under a mountain of paperwork while her husband was fighting off the EPA, OSHA, and ATF…who, for some reason, had suddenly taken an interest in their business. Coincidence, I’m sure.
And don’t forget my last post. Taken together, it’s clear that the mechanisms of our government have been turned against us. All that stuff the Left fantasized about Bush doing? Obama’s actually doing it.
I had no problem at all with wiretaps of phone calls between the US and foreign countries when a suspected terrorist was on either end of the line. That’s because I don’t think we should treat potential WMD attacks as criminal matters. It’s war, and should be conducted as such. That means we get to spy on the bad guys and not tell them about it.
But this is different…it’s hard to ignore the fact that things are coming to a boil. Plan accordingly.