Despite being smeared by “journalists”, Glenn Greenwald is still publishing new information about America’s Surveillance State. We now have learned that the NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under President Obama, extending a Bush program that began in 2001. The revelation contradicts initial talking points by spying program apologists that the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens was targeted and limited.
So much for hope and change.
The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.
The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata “every 90 days”. A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011. The collection of these records began under the Bush administration’s wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.
Obama came to office with a mandate to rollback the police state and decided – nah. This proves Obama to be an outright liar given his numerous campaign promises and public pronouncements opposing these types of policies.
According to a top-secret draft report by the NSA’s inspector general – published for the first time today by the Guardian – the agency began “collection of bulk internet metadata” involving “communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States”.
Eventually, the NSA gained authority to “analyze communications metadata associated with United States persons and persons believed to be in the United States”, according to a 2007 Justice Department memo, which is marked secret.
So yes, contrary to some misleading pushback, the government is reading your email and has been since at least 2001.
Some of the information on NSA spying programs that Obama continued were known thanks to Bush-era whistlerblower William Binney. One of the programs Binney blew the whistle on was STELLARWIND which, based on the Guardian report, it seems Obama continued.