With the news of Edward Snowden releasing classified information about NSA surveillance of Americans to the press, I am reminded that we have traitors among us. Edward Snowden was a contractor, working closely with the NSA in the direct role of surveillance of Americans by listening to phone calls, reading texts, email and observing web searches in search of terrorist activity. He fled to Hong Kong and exposed what he says is an unconstitutional breach of the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution by our government. He has been called a traitor by Dick Chaney and Nancy Pelosi but the claims he has made are really not new.
From The Guardian
Edward Snowden said “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email.”
Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say “someone at NSA still has the content of your communications” – what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?
Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time – and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.
2) NSA likes to use “domestic” as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as “incidental” collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of “warranted” intercept, it’s important to understand the intelligence community doesn’t always deal with what you would consider a “real” warrant like a Police department would have to, the “warrant” is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.
In an article at Reason magazine by Brian Doherty titled “5 Alarming Things We Should Have Already Known About the NSA, Surveillance, and Privacy Before Ed Snowden” Brian sheds light on (1) Three whistle blowers that have been prosecuted for leaking classified information about NSA surveillance on Americans (2) The governments use of Telcom companies like Google and Yahoo who had been given immunity from prosecution and law suits because of their cooperation with the NSA (3) Anyone who writes about and repeats what Edward Snowden has revealed about the NSA is a criminal under federal statute. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798 (4) As early as 2008 anyone paying attention would know that communication privacy in America had become a joke with the NSA having a room at a huge ATT data center in California where data was funneled through NSA equipment where they captured everything. (5) The Fourth Amendment had already been gutted by the Supreme Court when it ruled that business data or data stored by a third-party was available for government scrutiny. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/how-rand-paul-can-take-on-the-nsa.html
It is clear that several if not all members of Congress and the President knew and were complicit in the NSA surveillance of Americans. This is a direct violation of our Fourth Amendment rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. According to the Oath of Office for Congress, they are required to support and defend the Constitution of The United States. I’m pretty sure that includes the Forth Amendment. If members of Congress refuse to honor their oath of office and are complicit in its circumvention, doesn’t that make them traitors as well?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.