It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Often when the government tries to suppress information about its surveillance programs, it cites national-security concerns. But not always.
In 2008, a few years after the Bush administration's warrantless-wiretapping program was revealed for the first time by the New York Times, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act. That act authorizes the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications without meaningful oversight. As we've explained before (including in our lawsuit challenging the statute), the FISA Amendments Act is unconstitutional.
In 2009, we also filed a Freedom of Information Act request to learn more about the government's interpretation and implementation of the FISA Amendments Act. Last November, the government released a few hundred pages of heavily redacted documents. Though redacted, the documents confirmed that the government had interpreted the statute as broadly as we had feared and even that the government had repeatedly violated the few limitations that the statute actually imposed.
Two weeks ago, as part of our FOIA lawsuit over those documents, the government gave us several declarations attempting to justify the redaction of the documents. We've been combing through the documents and recently came across this unexpectedly honest explanation from the FBI of why the government doesn't want us to know which "electronic communication service providers" participate in its dragnet surveillance program. On page 32:
Originally posted by muzzleflash
Well with the way the economy is, how could we possibly afford lawyers?
It should say "You would sue if you had any money".
Also, I tend to think I already know the truth about this topic.
I lean towards this scenario : Every email, phone, fax, text message, etc etc; is 'spied on' passively, and fed through a automated computerized machine that searches for 'key words'. When a specific keyword is pegged, it's not such a big deal. But when multiple 'keywords' are pegged, the incident is flagged and actual human investigators take a look at the information much closer.
If you don't believe that scenario is possible, I would have to consider you 'unimaginative'.
Originally posted by Laokin
That's exactly how it works. Google fairly openly participates in this practice as well.
Say Kill the president, Kill gets picked out, president gets picked out, you get looked at, they investigators realize it was sarcastic and drop it.
Kill, President, Bomb, Rifle, Shiite, Muslim, to any one person, in any short breath of time, and you have officially been flagged on the no fly list.
That's pretty much exactly how it works.
Originally posted by Maxmars
And yet, through some apparent mental gymnastics, they have completely disregarded that key principle of service to conduct the consumption of public resources to violate that mandate.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Science fiction is loaded with stories of bureaucrats and authorities seeking to maintain things like freedom and respective constitutions who take it too far and essentially establish "for your own good" police states.
Anyone wants to try?edit on 12-5-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)