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NSA is keeping logs of phones calls in the US

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posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:17 AM
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Believe me, I did not mean my last post to be a lecture. It was more or less a short piece reflecting my cynicism about the system. The law is important to me. And I think a part of the law is to study its moral implications and social effects on society at large.

And of course, when we go about our daily lives, this doesn't mean anything. But in the larger scope of things, the small chipping away of Constitutional rights by the passage of the bills during this present Administration does. That's why I always talk about the "slippery slope" effect. One law can and will have an effect on the way society is governed, big or small.

By thinking that this is not a big deal now, will perhaps be detrimental to the future when something else passes with little notice does have a large effect on the population. And by then, there will be no one to stop it.

It's not a big deal. And of course, for the people worried about their civil liberties, why should they care? That is your argument, is it not?

But, this little shift in society will perhaps cause more disturbance than you will ever know. And even though you don't care about the Center of Constitutional Rights' lawsuit, there are people who do. Because whether they win or lose, they would have tried to fight to protect what little dignity we have in privacy. They are trying to do something instead of lying down and taking it. At least they recognize that the Constitution is worth more than the paper it is printed on.

Unfortuately, I cannot say the same for our government.









[edit on 16-5-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:24 AM
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Ceci, the one thing I cannot figure out though is why you think that your 'right to privacy' or whatever you want to call it is more important than this nation's security? Do you not think our security is at threat here? And why oh why would you even think that it isn't (if you don't think that of course)? You know, there has to come a point when you realize in life that the world is not centered around us as individuals and our friggin rights that we seem to hold so dear. There is much, much more at stake here than your privacy and your government is not the threat dear. IT certainly wouldn't serve them any purpose in the grand scheme of things to diminish your rights. It really wouldn't. It would hurt them just as much as you and that's the TRUTH.

I can't understand why people can't grasp that fact? Is it just disillusionment with the government? I don't know, but it is mind boggling.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 10:39 AM
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For my part, I am continually amazed to see that there are people that believe that their "rights to privacy" extend into their use of a communication device designed to transmit their words over great distances. As far as I'm concerned, if you are so damned concerned about your privacy, then don't transmit your personal information over a giant, world-wide communications grid.

While I believe that a person should be entitled to a level of privacy against everyday snooping by the government & law enforcement, especially within the confines of their own home, that requirement goes right out the window when it comes to national security. Bearing in mind that the "national security" realm and the "law enforcement" realm should never meet in the middle with regards to U.S. citizens. Ergo, no law enforcement "discovery" during the course of national security operations.

However, that does bring up an interesting point. Lets suppose, during a surveillance mission, an NSA analyst discovers the location of a kidnapped child. Perhaps they were interested in this individual because of identifiable patterns of suspicious behavior, which may match patterns associated with terrorism. Well, false alarm on the terrorism thing, but the weirdo has a 12 year old girl that has been missing for a few weeks. What to do? Does the molestor have a reasonable expectancy of privacy, and therefor the NSA analyst cannot inform the FBI? Or, in this case, does the analyst "ignore the law" and make the call to save the girl, knowing that the perp may get off at trial, but saving the girl is more important?

So, here's a question: would people submit to phone surveillance nationwide if it could save dozens of kids who are kidnapped and killed each year by killers?

And if your answer is yes, then why would you say "no" to surveillance if it could save the lives of servicemen and civilains who are the targets of terrorists? Are the lives of the children worth more, and are adult lives worth less? Or do we say "to heck with it all", ban all forms of surveillance, and let everyone take their chances?

To me, it's not a matter of personal privacy. It's a matter of personal responsibility.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 12:12 PM
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Here's my question. Very simple.

This STARTS with Bush. It moves on to the next President's Administration. And the next, and the next. Once it is a program, it doesn't suddenly stop.

Are you in fact comfortable with the fact that the next Administration (Dem or Republican) will be able to pursue this further? If Hillary is elected, she runs it. Executive Power, baby.

Are you comfortable with the fact that without protesting against it, it leaves the door open to more surveillance?

Are you comfortable with the fact that the US government in 10 years will still have this ability, sanctioned by yourself, and further protected? What will their agenda be? What will their focus be? What will be "troublesome behavior" to them? Who will decide who the "bad guys" are?

This starts with George W. Bush, who knows where it finishes or how robustly it grows.

You are playing with the privacies of your successive generations, because of a FALSE, TRUMPED UP THREAT!

So when you look at what this program has become in 20 years, look back to when it started. And wonder why nobody asked these questions.

Because if it's a total mess, the next generation (if they are freedom-loving), will blame YOU and your generation for allowing the government to spy on THEM.


Edited due to a crazy Boldening (/b)

[edit on 16-5-2006 by Jakomo]



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
This STARTS with Bush. It moves on to the next President's Administration. And the next, and the next. Once it is a program, it doesn't suddenly stop.


Ummm...yes it can. It has happened all throughout history. Again, research needs to be done.


Are you in fact comfortable with the fact that the next Administration (Dem or Republican) will be able to pursue this further? If Hillary is elected, she runs it. Executive Power, baby.


Point being?


Are you comfortable with the fact that without protesting against it, it leaves the door open to more surveillance?


Again, point being? Door open to what surveillance? Whose performing surveillance on us?


Are you comfortable with the fact that the US government in 10 years will still have this ability, sanctioned by yourself, and further protected? What will their agenda be? What will their focus be? What will be "troublesome behavior" to them? Who will decide who the "bad guys" are?


Again, the program can end at anytime.


You are playing with the privacies of your successive generations, because of a FALSE, TRUMPED UP THREAT!


Really? Perhaps I look at it like that i'm trying to protect successive generations because of what I perceive to be and my common sense tells me is a REAL THREAT.


Because if it's a total mess, the next generation (if they are freedom-loving), will blame YOU and your generation for allowing the government to spy on THEM.


Uh huh. Again, how come this wasn't a problem when Clinton spied???



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 02:38 PM
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Honestly now do you really think a criminal organization like Al Qaeda poses more of a threat to America then the Soviet Union did? Thats in essence what your saying, that a bunch of suicidal radicals pose more of a threat to America then a global hegemony with constant access to state of the art weaponry, heavy industry, and millions of loyal subjects.

It's at times like this that I hate Osama Binladen more than ever. Not because he slaughtered thousands of my fellow New Yorkers but because he succesfully brainwashed my countrymen into losing their collective minds and all rationality.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Ummmmmm yeah. That's exactly what i'm saying.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
Here's my question. Very simple.

This STARTS with Bush. It moves on to the next President's Administration. And the next, and the next. Once it is a program, it doesn't suddenly stop.

Are you in fact comfortable with the fact that the next Administration (Dem or Republican) will be able to pursue this further? If Hillary is elected, she runs it. Executive Power, baby.

Are you comfortable with the fact that without protesting against it, it leaves the door open to more surveillance?

Are you comfortable with the fact that the US government in 10 years will still have this ability, sanctioned by yourself, and further protected? What will their agenda be? What will their focus be? What will be "troublesome behavior" to them? Who will decide who the "bad guys" are?

This starts with George W. Bush, who knows where it finishes or how robustly it grows.

You are playing with the privacies of your successive generations, because of a FALSE, TRUMPED UP THREAT!

So when you look at what this program has become in 20 years, look back to when it started. And wonder why nobody asked these questions.

Because if it's a total mess, the next generation (if they are freedom-loving), will blame YOU and your generation for allowing the government to spy on THEM.


Edited due to a crazy Boldening (/b)

[edit on 16-5-2006 by Jakomo]


I am going to say this....one....last....time.

If you think that these NSA-led surveillance activities are new, you are incorrect. If you believe that these operations are aproduct of the evil GWB cabal, you are a fool blinded by your political beliefs. If you think they will end any time soon, I have a lovely bridge for sale that I would like to show you.

These activities have been going on for a LONG time, and nobody's rights have suffered, no one has been tossed in jail over civil matters, and the political process has not been affected. People like you Jak, who make a living out of running around with your hair on fire, crying "The sky is falling!", and trying to convince everyone that everything is a world-wide conspiricy need to wake up and face the facts. You might as well be twlling me "Oh my God, the sky is blue! Bush has turned.....the sky....blue!" Tell me something I don't already know or care about.

And guess what? I don't blame the previous generation for allowing the government to "spy" on me. Asside from the fact that I have nothing to hide and I had never suspected or had any reason to susect the government would actually spy on me, I would'nt care less if they did because all they would get out of me would be my evening plans with my friends, the latest controversy with my crazy Aunt Polly courtesy of my Mum, or maybe my last order from Dominos.

The "conspiricy" that you are trying to allude to is that the policial powers would use this tool to corrupt the political power process. Like there are that many people who have that kind of power that actually talk about useful things on the phone to begin with. Right. Your argument is akin to saying the government has invented a massive 1,000 bomb to eliminate a colony of cockroaches. Our political process doesn't work that way, and you know it.

Face the facts. You despise our politics, our society, and the current administration. You don't like the way we do things, and look for every opportunity to "expose" our corrupt and morally bankrupt way of life. At least have the cojones to just come out and just say it. Stop rantiabout that which does not affect you, and that which you know nothing about to begin with. Personally, I am plenty comfortable with my current freedoms. I am uncomfortable with your tired story.

Dieter, host of 'Sprockets': "Your story has become tiresome".



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:30 PM
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I don't think people are being selfish for being concerned with their civil liberties and the right of privacy. National security is important, but there has to be a moral compass when weighing the needs of the few compared to the rights of many. And that's how I see the government treating this problem.

They are mainly trying to use this as a sidetrack issue to get people inflamed while their own rampant corruption goes on behind doors. And sadly enough even though some citizens are aware of this corruption, others are taken up with the effects of 9/11 to the point that they will sacrifice everything they hold dear to satisfy the selfish notions of this present administration.

I just tend to think that when it comes down to it, no one wants their house or private records being searched without a preponderance of "criminal activity" or "probable cause", no matter how reasonable it is. There are some things that you can't negotiate with. And that means life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the government's intrusion into our "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is a problem that needs to be rooted out and solved.

No matter what anyone says about having "nothing to hide", everyone has secrets. And I think that with the government having an eye on your every move, no one would want everything in their lives laid bare for strangers to see no matter what the cause.

And if you give the government a blank check to investigate and catorgorize anything and everything about you, what is truly left of your person, your possessions, or your own dignity?

If you are willing to sacrifice that, then, you truly do not care about yourself let alone other people anymore.

You might as well be living in the world of Minority Report.





[edit on 16-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 07:56 AM
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Again, Ceci tell me how your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is being invaded. It's not.

And hey I just don't fear 'terrorism' because of 9-11 alone. We've invaded a Middle Eastern country and that's where my concern in regards to 'terrorism' is. And not to mention the government HAS actually thwarted some terrorist plots. But, no that doesn't exactly make the big media news, now does it?

If you just hate the government then just come out and say it because this trying to turn something into a crime or a violation of your liberties that IS NEITHER isn't cutting it.


pml

posted on May, 17 2006 @ 07:58 AM
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Those of us who have worked in positions related to national security understand the necessity of what is done because every day we witness things that make us want to work harder. Now, regarding the compiling of phone records there is one simple fact that must be understood. A list of phone numbers is not a recording of the text of the actual phone call. Has anyone even considered what would be involved in recording all telephone calls given the number of telephones out there and the plethora of folks engaged in mindless conversation? You are safe. If you fear someone will tell your husband or wife about your extracurricular activities you are safe. If you make numerous calls to a terrorist state or organization, you may be monitored. That should be a no-brainer. When I was with NSA during the Cold War we did not have the time, or personnel, to monitor everything; nor did we care to. We did monitor those considered a threat; and always with good reason. I can assure you the NSA is not interested in what you wore to the prom, hearing about your latest conquest, or listening to your complaints about someone who might have said something to someone about you.

So, if you involved in something you want to keep quiet you should consider that before grabbing that cell phone and broadcasting to the world. The same goes for email. If you are afraid of the wrong people reading what you transmit you should not transmit. It seems so simple.

As for me, if the NSA wants to keep a record of my telephone calls or emails so be it. I just hope the folks monitoring what I do have no trouble staying awake.

For the record, I would be against the recording of my actual calls (i.e., the actual content) without a court order.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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Pyros:

If you think that these NSA-led surveillance activities are new, you are incorrect. If you believe that these operations are aproduct of the evil GWB cabal, you are a fool blinded by your political beliefs. If you think they will end any time soon, I have a lovely bridge for sale that I would like to show you.


Point taken. Then you are not and haven't actually been free for some time. Might want to change your country's slogan.


Asside from the fact that I have nothing to hide and I had never suspected or had any reason to susect the government would actually spy on me, I would'nt care less if they did because all they would get out of me would be my evening plans with my friends, the latest controversy with my crazy Aunt Polly courtesy of my Mum, or maybe my last order from Dominos.


Maybe if you actively protested about the things about your government that you don't agree with, you would have to worry. You know, if you were an American who saw things wrong in his country and talked to your friends about them, and how to change them. But I guess you see absolutely zero wrong with your country and so just plod along with your boring life.

Being a nice little sheep means you're safe, I suppose. So, uh, baaah.


The "conspiricy" that you are trying to allude to is that the policial powers would use this tool to corrupt the political power process.


Yeah, based on a Minor degree in Political Science, and decades of watching and learning, I have found that governments are corrupt, and they abuse their powers when their people let them. You're just "trusting" I suppose?


Face the facts. You despise our politics, our society, and the current administration. You don't like the way we do things, and look for every opportunity to "expose" our corrupt and morally bankrupt way of life.


Any more words you'd care to attribute to me that I've never said? Maybe just U2U them to me so nobody else has to bother reading them?

What I despise is hypocrisy. You claim your country is such a paragon of freedom and justice when in fact, your government watches you, keeps tabs on you, and treats you like pond scum. When it's brought up as a BAD THING, you jump all over people about it.

Of course, if you found out Iran was doing the SAME THING to it's people, you would deride them for it. Double standard mania.

So as long as you're cool about the fact that you have to be careful about what you say, do, and who you talk to, keep saluting your flag and saying the last lines of your anthem as IRONY, because you're neither brave nor free.


Are you 100% sure that the NSA doesn't actually LOG a lot of these calls? Through blind trust or because "they wouldn't do that". Because that's the next logical step.

When it comes down to it, it's your country, your people, and your privacy. If you are willing to give it up so readily, you probably didn't deserve it in the first place.

ps. I know dozens of Americans, and plenty of ex-Americans living up here now. I have yet to speak to one who agrees with this program at all. I know nobody who supports it whatsoever.






[edit on 17-5-2006 by Jakomo]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
ps. I know dozens of Americans, and plenty of ex-Americans living up here now. I have yet to speak to one who agrees with this program at all. I know nobody who supports it whatsoever.


That doesn't say a lot for you, now does it? And WTF is an “ex-American”, how can you stop being an American?
As for the rest of you post, I’ll take the word of someone who actually knows the agency, like the poster above you over someone who calls people sheep because they don't agree with their view. Please, stop the sensationalism and stop your politically motivated views. Thanks.


[edit on 17-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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Oh no, WestPoint23, I, for one, don't call anyone sheep. Not in the very least. People have a right--if they are convinced--to not be disturbed by what the government is doing. After all, there were a lot of people right around Auschwitz who denied what was going on within the camps, too. They went right about their business as they saw the smoke rise from the buildings and the trains go right into the concentration camp. So, we should take the opposition very seriously in their belief that we should not be worried. And we should be very afraid.


Originally quoted by zenlover28
Again, Ceci tell me how your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is being invaded. It's not.

And hey I just don't fear 'terrorism' because of 9-11 alone. We've invaded a Middle Eastern country and that's where my concern in regards to 'terrorism' is. And not to mention the government HAS actually thwarted some terrorist plots. But, no that doesn't exactly make the big media news, now does it?

If you just hate the government then just come out and say it because this trying to turn something into a crime or a violation of your liberties that IS NEITHER isn't cutting it.


Would you feel better if I said I hated the government? Well, start to cry. I love the government. I love my country. I'm a patriot. And I'm exercising my Constitutional right to engage in dissent. I'm not shouting "Fire" in a crowded room. I have the same freedom as you do to express my content or discontent about the government.

However, what I cannot dismiss is that the President and his cohorts broke laws. They did it willingly without a warrant or a court of law. They have not appeared in front of a court of law to present their findings. And they have not as yet (although Bush did allow Congess a little more leeway over the NSA program, though) discussed how the program works. He did not, in his speech, mention the Patriot Acts I and II, nor discuss why we should not be concerned when "probable cause" or the right to face one's accusers is disregarded.

Are you concered when other average citizens, like yourself, are picked up by the feds for having a particular conversation or writing a letter to a newspaper dissenting with the government and seemingly charged with "sedition"? I thought not. You don't care because it doesn't affect you.

You see, I don't truly believe that the government is not interested in daily conversations. That might be the case on the surface. But why would they want to buy an indiscriminate amount of phone records or datamine randomly for information if they were targeting a specifc person, group or terrorist cell? Did you ever ask yourself that? And why would the phone companies, except for Qwest, comply? Is that not a valid question?

Why would they wiretap all of us instead of pursue the cases that are truly dangerous?

That is where my problem lies.


[edit on 17-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:30 PM
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Ceci, if you'd do your research instead of following the crowd you'd realize that there is a law to protect this VERY thing. Let's see I believe it was in 1994 and it was passed by a Democratic House and Senate. Ummm...geez what was the name of it...some sort of Communications Bill. Can't remember the exact name of it, but if you'd take the time to look it up you would realize you're being duped. An investigation is pending allright and all will be revealed and I hope you're happy and i'm sure the 'terrorists' will be tickled pink. And if you believe that no one in Congress doesn't already know about what's going on then again you're being DUPED!

Also, AGAIN no CIVIL LIBERTIES have been lost. Our phone numbers are not our personal property. There are laws stating that too and that our useage of them are not subject to privacy. Anyhow, i'm not digging them up for you. You can do that for yourself if you REALLY care about this issue.

And by all means, i'm for dissent and protecting our rights, but at least get the FACTS straight first. We have given up very little due to this whole war. Sure we have some inconveniences now, but really we have given up squat compared to what others have given up in past wars.

Okay i'm done now. I'm going to leave you to it. This is stressful and not worth the effort.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:51 PM
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Well, I guess it must hurt to search your conscience. Okay. I enjoyed conversing with you about this topic. And of course, it is all right to not feel worried at all. The government really isn't hurting you or I...now.

But when?



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 07:31 AM
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But I do care about the issue. And that's why I am asking questions that no one wants to answer. I'm sure there are laws that cover this. And I will do the leg work on it.

But just because there are protections in place still doesn't alleviate the fact that the President broke the law with the wiretapping.

And it doesn't also answer my question about the Patriot Acts I and II giving up the right to "probable cause".

And no, I'm not following the crowd. You are. And of course, you have no right to worry. What do you have to hide? Well, you might as hold the hand of Big Brother.

Oh well. Be sure when the feds knock on your door greet them with cookies, scones and tea. I'm sure they like hospitality as they ruffle through your papers and seize your computer.



[edit on 18-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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I guess this whole discussion is moot. Bell South says it didn't do it....

Argh! Who's telling thetruth?

"BellSouth to USA Today: NSA story is bogus
Telecom giant calls paper's report false, unsubstantiated
From Jennifer Westhoven
CNN
Friday, May 19, 2006 Posted: 1115 GMT (1915 HKT)


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- BellSouth is demanding that the newspaper that said it provided private phone records to the National Security Agency retract its article.
The telecommunications giant sent a letter to USA Today on Thursday asking it to retract last week's story that BellSouth and two other companies helped the NSA compile a massive database of records on domestic phone calls.
BellSouth faxed the letter to the attention of Craig Moon, the newspaper's president and publisher, and its general counsel, BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said. The letter calls for the paper to retract the "false and unsubstantiated statements the paper made regarding BellSouth."
"We did receive the letter this afternoon. We're reviewing it, and will be responding," said USA Today spokesman Steve Anderson.
Earlier this week, USA Today said it stands by its story, but that it would investigate the denials issued by BellSouth and Verizon.
AT&T, the third company named in the article, has not denied the story outright, but said it would not provide such information without legal authorization.
USA Today reported that the NSA doesn't record or listen to conversations. Rather, the article said, the agency uses the data -- including phone numbers, times and locations -- to look for patterns that might suggest terrorist activity.
The Bush administration has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a program."

Link: edition.cnn.com...



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by pml
Those of us who have worked in positions related to national security understand the necessity of what is done because every day we witness things that make us want to work harder. Now, regarding the compiling of phone records there is one simple fact that must be understood. A list of phone numbers is not a recording of the text of the actual phone call. Has anyone even considered what would be involved in recording all telephone calls given the number of telephones out there and the plethora of folks engaged in mindless conversation? You are safe. If you fear someone will tell your husband or wife about your extracurricular activities you are safe. If you make numerous calls to a terrorist state or organization, you may be monitored. That should be a no-brainer. When I was with NSA during the Cold War we did not have the time, or personnel, to monitor everything; nor did we care to. We did monitor those considered a threat; and always with good reason. I can assure you the NSA is not interested in what you wore to the prom, hearing about your latest conquest, or listening to your complaints about someone who might have said something to someone about you.

So, if you involved in something you want to keep quiet you should consider that before grabbing that cell phone and broadcasting to the world. The same goes for email. If you are afraid of the wrong people reading what you transmit you should not transmit. It seems so simple.

As for me, if the NSA wants to keep a record of my telephone calls or emails so be it. I just hope the folks monitoring what I do have no trouble staying awake.

For the record, I would be against the recording of my actual calls (i.e., the actual content) without a court order.



The NSA can't find ONE bad guy in 5 years, so what are they wasting OUR money on.?

The REAL bad guys are most likely using hard encryption for e-mails on remote servers, encrypted VOIP, or other methods that can not be easily determined.
There are 10 year old kids who are smarter than most of your so called "professional" analysts.

I submit that this administration is using these evesdropping methods to spy on journalists and opposing political factions in order to keep their criminal activities secret.
They have proven that they will stop at nothing to remain in power.

The use of "War Powers" was based on lies and deception, so why should we trust this administration with our private information.

The employees at NSA have forgotten that they are Americans first.
This government is the most corrupt collection of crooks and liars in world history.

If you are part of this deception, then you are in fact a traitor to your country.

This administration belongs in PRISON and anyone contributing to their actions is in my
view guilty of TREASON.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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May, 22 2006 issue of Newsweek is out in paper form. P.28 reports that in 2005 more than 500 billion landline phone calls were made. That equates into 2 trillion phone minutes.

Maybe if enough people are hired to listen in on those 2 trillion phone minutes, we could end the unemployment problem in the United States.

Hmm, on second thought, they would probably farm that responsibility out to India.

For the record, I have no problem with the phone record database. I wish it hadn't been done in such secrecy, but considering the world events around us, if it is for national security, I'm all for it! Maybe someone at the NSA will get a kick out of me telling all those damn telemarkerters that get around the 'do not call' listings to [snip] OFF.



Edit: censor circumvention.

[edit on 19-5-2006 by intrepid]



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