You’d be a very rare American if the National Security Agency hasn’t collected your telephone call details without a search warrant. Homeland Stupidity has a good update on how the NSA is collecting data from the major telephone carriers. This includes the latest court challenge — which the government is trying to shut down on the grounds of protecting national secrets. Here’s the latest on what the Feds just learned about you without your permission:
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting call traffic data for most telephones in the United States, without warrants, since shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to reports published Thursday.
USA TODAY reported that under secret agreements with AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, those companies turned over to NSA billions of call detail records of their subscribers, meaning the telephone number dialed and duration of the call. While the contents of the calls were not monitored, the records included purely domestic calls, originating and terminating within the United States.
Only Qwest refused to participate in the scheme, citing legal concerns.
The last time I checked, the Fourth Amendment still read:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
We might as well just throw the Constitution in the garbage; we weren’t using it anyway.
Update by Stephen VanDyke: The Libertarian Party is finally sounding like the alarmists we knew was always in them withthat just hit their site and email:
“The fear of terrorism was used to create this database shortly after September 11th, just as it was used to pass the Patriot Act and ignore the rule of law with increased domestic spying,” stated Michael Dixon, chairman of the Libertarian Party. “However, our history proves that these programs will be abused regardless of the intended purpose. We witnessed this with the Clinton administration and its use of FBI files for political purposes. More recently, the Patriot Act has been used against business owners in Nevada rather than al-Qaeda.”
It’s refreshing to see them finally noticing that the sword cuts both ways and that they need to slice up current Republican and previous Democrat policies at the same time.