Thursday, May 11, 2006

USA Today - Government, Major Telecommunications Listening

According to "people with direct knowledge of the arrangement", the National Security Agency (NSA) has also been "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth," except for Qwest, which turned the NSA down on the basis of "the legal implications", so say "multiple sources".

The article quotes NSA spokesman Don Weber as saying that his agency has "'no information to provide'" and that nothing illegal is being done, while the White House maintains that only calls placed out-of-country are being monitored.

CNN reports that the Department of Justice "has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program" by attorneys to Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), citing their denial of "security clearance" from the NSA.

Okay, okay. If this is all true, that is if our government is spying on the American people en masse, what is happening to us? No doubt it is important to do all that is necessary to prevent terrorism, but at this point there are two options we will face very soon.

Either we dismantle our democratic system, or we radically change the anti-terrorism policies. We cannot keep exchanging precious freedom for security; we must have both.

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