Yes, Big Brother Is Watching You

William Binney, former NSA analyst, sits in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City during a 2012 discussion about the federal government and their access to citizens' private information. (Jacob Applebaum / Wikimedia Commons)

William Binney, former NSA analyst, sits in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City during a 2012 discussion about the federal government and their access to citizens’ private information.
(Jacob Applebaum / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s been a frightening few weeks for journalists concerned with protecting their sources—and for Americans concerned with protecting their privacy. On May 13, the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of reporters’ call logs. Citing the Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of classified information, the Justice Department had subpoenaed Verizon Wireless for the call logs of more than 20 AP phone lines. Within a week The Washington Post reported that in 2010 the DOJ had subpoenaed emails from Fox News’ chief Washington correspondent James Rosen’s personal Gmail, also with the motive of prosecuting leakers.

The revelations have caused a furor over whether national security interests should trump civil liberties. AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the DOJ surveillance an “unprecedented intrusion.” Michael Clemente, Fox News executive vice president of news, released a statement calling the DOJ’s surveillance of Rosen “chilling” and an “outrage.” He wrote, “We will unequivocally defend [Rosen’s] right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”

And a Pew survey showed a plurality of voters, 44 percent, disapproved of the DOJ obtaining AP phone records. Thirty-six percent, on the other hand, approved of the department’s obtaining the records.

What’s been largely overlooked, however, is that, subpoenaed call logs aside, the government may be recording your actual phone calls. And your emails. And all that data may be a mouse click, not a subpoena, away.

Read more at In These Times.

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  • blazintommyd
  • echar

    If it was a secret, why are we hearing about it?

  • VoxMagi

    And per usual, its never about actual national security (like giving bomb plans to our enemies or base locations etc etc)…its about crushing anyone who leaks information regarding criminal or wildly inappropriate acts by government back to the people who theoretically elect that government’s command chain. The Obama admin is every bit as guilty of this conduct as past administrations, and at every level there has been a drive to reduce accountability and transparency…always with the buzzwords ‘national security’ at the tip of every tongue.

  • BuzzCoastin

    fortunately for all
    Big Homelander is an incompetent nincompoop
    for all BH’s snooping
    he never finds political criminals, especially at high levels
    he never find’s the financial criminals
    he never finds incompetent, derelict military criminals
    but he does catch
    kids, minorities and societal misfits
    usually right after the crimes the FBI helped them instigate
    but ya gotta give’em this
    they sure know how to put on a good show

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