Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kissinger Was Right: Even Paranoids Have Enemies

told my lunch companions today that I am deleting the phrase "even these guys wouldn't..." from my vocabulary. My scariest, most paranoid, nutball friends appear to have been right on the money. Consider the source...but consider the chilling implications, too.

recent revelations about illegal eavesdropping on American citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency have raised many questions about just what the agency is doing. Although the facts are just beginning to emerge, information that has come to light about the NSA's activities and capabilities over the years, as well as the recent reporting by the New York Times and others, allows us to discern the outlines of what they are likely doing and how they are doing it.
The NSA is not only the world's largest spy agency (far larger than the CIA, for example), but it possesses the most advanced technology for intercepting communications. We know it has long had the ability to focus powerful surveillance capabilities on particular individuals or communications. But the current scandal has indicated two new and significant elements of the agency's eavesdropping:
  1. The NSA has gained direct access to the telecommunications infrastructure through some of America's largest companies.
  2. The agency appears to be not only targeting individuals, but also using broad "data mining" systems that allow them to intercept and evaluate the communications of millions of people within the United States.

American Civil Liberties Union : Eavesdropping 101: What Can The NSA Do?


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