Carol Platt Liebau: Putting It in Perspective

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Putting It in Perspective

The invaluable Heather MacDonald explains why even paranoid conspiracy nuts have nothing to fear from the newly leaked NSA program.

Here's just a tidbit:

Since late 2001, Verizon, BellSouth, and ATT have connected nearly two trillion calls, according to the Washington Post. The companies gave NSA the incoming and outgoing numbers of those calls, stripped of all identifying information such as name or address. No conversational content was included. The NSA then put its supercharged computers to work analyzing patterns among the four trillion numbers involved in the two trillion calls, to look for clusters that might suggest terrorist connections. Though the details are unknown, they might search for calls to known terrorists, or, more speculatively, try to elicit templates of terror calling behavior from the data.

Read the whole thing.


Blogger Marshall Art said...

No matter how this is explained, the moonbats will squawk. They believe that Bush is evil and will abuse the info for personal gain. They see what they want to see.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

"In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials." [Cite]

No, we believe that Cheney is evil. Bush is merely a sock puppet.

8:41 PM  
Blogger woof111 said...

It was slick willie who sensitized me to federal spying, when he used satellite spying on the 'white supremicists' in Oklahoma. And how about Waco?

But more related to this issue of examining trillions of phone numbers.----
It was President Clinton who signed into law the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994, after it was passed in both the House and Senate by a voice vote. That law is an act "to make clear a telecommunications carrier's duty to cooperate in the interception of communications for law enforcement purposes, and for other purposes." The act made clear that a court order isn't the only lawful way of obtaining call information, saying, "A telecommunications carrier shall ensure that any interception of communications or access to call-identifying information effected within its switching premises can be activated only in accordance with a court order or other lawful authorization."

The law that President Clinton signed into law and that was approved by voice votes in 1994 by a Democrat-majority House and a Democrat-majority Senate not only made clear the phone companies' "duty" to cooperate, it authorized $500 million in taxpayer funds to reimburse the phone companies for equipment "enabling the government, pursuant to a court order or other lawful authorization, to access call-identifying information that is reasonably available to the carrier." Again, the law, by referring to "other lawful authorization," states clearly that a court order isn't the only form of lawful authorization possible."

8:47 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

Surely, indignant privacy rights advocates such as Mr. Twister must have been shocked - SHOCKED!! - and outraged - OUTRAGED!! - by this blatant violation of constitutional safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure by compelling telecommunications carriers to cooperate in the interception of communications for law enforcement purposes.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

"...according to two senior intelligence officials."

What officials? Are they some of the spooks that have been leaking? Does it really matter to a Bush-hater? No, of course not. Just an ambiguous mention of two unnamed officials is all the testimony a lefty needs to prove his paranoid contentions. They'll buy anything that speaks ill of this administration.

10:11 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Umm... Marshall Art?

The FBI just officially confirmed the story this morning.

Maybe the reason this "Bush-hating lefty" will believe almost anything bad about this administration is that every other bad thing I've believed about them has been proved true.

1:12 PM  

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