Does President Obama know what his own government is doing or is he actively lying? According to the Wall Street Journal the NSA scans 75% of all American internet traffic, often snatching emails and other communication information from Americans within the United States. This while Obama goes on television to tell Americans “we don’t have a domestic spying program.”
The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.
The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.
Right. That is absolutely a “domestic spying program” by any metric. Seventy-five percent of all American internet traffic. Sorry, words have meaning.
The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.
The programs, code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew, among others, filter and gather information at major telecommunications companies… Details of these surveillance programs were gathered from interviews with current and former intelligence and government officials and people from companies that help build or operate the systems, or provide data. Most have direct knowledge of the work.
Apparently giving those telecom companies retroactive immunity for warrantless wiretapping encouraged them to help with future illegal domestic spying. Thanks Congress.
While many attentive observers are likely not surprised by the revelations that the telecom companies have given the NSA a free hand to spy on Americans, they can perhaps take solace in the fact that now even the most casual member of the citizenry understands they are being spied on by the government. The Snowden leaks along with the follow up stories they inspired have made one thing clear beyond a reasonable doubt – the US government views the American people as the enemies in the war on terror.