December 16, 2013
A federal judge has ruled that the NSA’s warrantless spying on Americans is probably unconstitutional.
See also this article in The Guardian.
This is a major victory for everyone in American who uses email or a cell phone, a victory for freedom (that supposed reason for the so called war on terror) and a setback for the national security state, or in the words of George Orwell in 1984, Big Brother.
In June 2013 Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan wrote a letter signed by 24 other Congressmen to the heads of the NSA and the FBI about the NSA spying. This is remarkable. There are actually 25 Members of Congress who represent the people of the United States! Well shiver me timbers! You can download this document here:
Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian (UK) reported on June 5, 2013 that the NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily. NSA is the National Security Agency of the U.S.
NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily
Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama
The article said, “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.”
Two U.S. Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee have been hinting about this for 2 years but have been unable, by law, to come right out and tell the American people what they know. As Greenwald wrote, “The court order appears to explain the numerous cryptic public warnings by two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, about the scope of the Obama administration’s surveillance activities.
For roughly two years, the two Democrats have been stridently advising the public that the US government is relying on “secret legal interpretations” to claim surveillance powers so broad that the American public would be ‘stunned’ to learn of the kind of domestic spying being conducted.”
On June 6, 2013 the New York Times wrote an editorial called “President Obama’s Dragnet” saying, “Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.”
President Obama’s Dragnet
The Times editorial Board continued: “Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.
This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy. ”
The board added that it was not objecting to the legality of the court order but argued against using the Patriot Act for this purpose.
“This stunning use of the act shows, once again, why it needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed.”
(End of NY Times editorial of June 6, 2013.)
Repealing the USA Patriot Act will be like moving a mountain. But in 3 minutes you can call and write to your cell phone company and tell them not to share your phone calls with the feds.
What can you do about this? Besides inform yourself and your friends, family, and strangers.
You can write to or call your cell phone company, ask if they are participating in this program, and demand that they NOT share your phone calls with the federal government.
Each major cell phone company has a customer service phone number which is printed on your bill and on their website. Call it and ask for a written response. They also have an email address for customer service. Write to them, tell them you are a customer, and demand a written response.