Friday, May 12, 2006

NSA has your phone records - NSA has your phone records; 'trust us' isn't good enough: "Even assuming that the Bush administration's motives are pure, and that this program merely looks for patterns of calls that could reveal terror networks, it raises a number of troubling questions:
Is it legal? Bush insists it is, but that's questionable. The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires a court order to gather a person's current phone records. A 1934 law requires phone companies to protect customers' privacy. And the Fourth Amendment forbids 'unreasonable searches and seizures.'
Is it useful? Taken as a whole, such a database is of dubious utility. U.S. intelligence-gathering agencies are already suffering from an abundance of raw information and a dearth of good intelligence. Looking for suspicious patterns among billions of phone numbers seems like the ultimate search for a needle in a haystack.
Is it foolproof? These types of databases invariably have errors. The federal terrorist 'watch list,' which is used to screen airline passengers, has ensnared a number of innocent travelers � among them Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and a 23-month-old toddler � whose names are similar to, or the same as, suspects on the list. Once you're mistakenly targeted, the error can be nearly impossible to fix and your life can be turned upside down. "
Exactly. As a person who was born in a country that is know to harbor "terrorists" I can be branded a persona non grata at any moment. Never mind the fact that my parents are US citizens and my family lived in the US before the Revolutionary War (which some fought in). What B.S.! Daily B.S. from the Bush crime family.

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