December 24, 2005
And It's Even Bigger
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According to the New York Times, Bush's illegal spying encompassed a far greater scope that Bush has admitted to so far:
The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said. ...A great concern here is the fact that the eavesdropping now potentially includes almost all communications passing through the U.S.; that most of it is tracked by computers is hardly a consolation. Two disturbing facts remain: first, the eavesdropping was done illegally when a legal course lay available; and second, the potential for abuse is now exponentially greater than it was when only a few thousand individual acts of eavesdropping we were considering.
Since the disclosure last week of the N.S.A.'s domestic surveillance program, President Bush and his senior aides have stressed that his executive order allowing eavesdropping without warrants was limited to the monitoring of international phone and e-mail communications involving people with known links to Al Qaeda.
What has not been publicly acknowledged is that N.S.A. technicians, besides actually eavesdropping on specific conversations, have combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorism suspects. Some officials describe the program as a large data-mining operation.
Phil Karn, a computer engineer and technology expert at a major West Coast telecommunications company, said access to such switches would be significant. "If the government is gaining access to the switches like this, what you're really talking about is the capability of an enormous vacuum operation to sweep up data," he said.Essentially, they've set up the telephone and Internet networks to be their own giant Google search engine. This is not limited to just al Qaeda operatives, this is peering into your email, listening in to your phone calls.
Posted by Luis at December 24, 2005 11:02 AM
Posted by: Paul at December 26, 2005 01:40 PM