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  • gkcreamcheese gkcreamcheese Jun 16, 2013 11:26 AM Flag

    The NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

    The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

    If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is suffici ent, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

    Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

    Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

    The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii "wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president."

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    • A bug or other device needs to be placed or used to obtain the message or to overhear the conversation. The government is big, but is not big enough to overhear every phone conversation being made at one time. Part of a court order is to focus the recording to a specific phone number or numbers. It takes time to place the device to overhear the message. So what I disagree with is that a single person can place a wiretap on any person immediately or even in a very short period because I believe it takes time to setup the listening device.

      • 1 Reply to petting_a_phoenix
      • Conversations are being monitored and recorded from reporters in the media who were critical of Obama and conservative groups. (By the way, we learned last month from confessions that the IRS was targetting Tea Party) We learned that government snoops of facebook and social sites to target criticism of Obama to find who to target. Data is recorded at the new multi-billion dollar data collection center in Utah. Petting, you are far behind current events in the news and I advise that you need to read up on the r4 ecent Obama scandals that were uncovered.

    • dr.gloom Jun 16, 2013 9:14 PM Flag

      Long live the Bush legacy. The powers and the freedom from government supervision and interference he gave the NSA. Love it or leave it, the only freedom that matters.

    • We got enough scandals in 4.5 years to impeach any president 10 times over. Obama needs to be removed even if it means arrest which no president is immune. He appointed these people and has himself refused to comply with court orders and bypassed congress on several occassion. You're outta there!

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