21 Facts About NSA Snooping That Every American Should Know

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the NSA is actually doing.  Are they reading our emails?  Are they listening to our telephone calls?  Do they target American citizens or is it only foreigners that they are targeting?  Unfortunately, the truth is that we aren’t going to get straight answers from our leaders about this.  The folks running the NSA have already shown that they are willing to flat out lie to Congress, and Barack Obama doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to telling the truth.  These are men that play word games and tell lies for a living.  So it would be unrealistic to expect them to come out and tell us the unvarnished truth about what is going on.  That is why it is so important that whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden have come forward.  Thanks to them and to the brave journalists that are willing to look into these things, we have been able to get some glimpses behind the curtain.  And what we have learned is not very pretty.  The following are 21 facts about NSA snooping that every American should know…

#1 According to CNET, the NSA told Congress during a recent classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls…

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

#2 According to U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, members of Congress learned “significantly more than what is out in the media today” about NSA snooping during that classified briefing.

#3 The content of all of our phone calls is being recorded and stored.  The following is a from a transcript of an exchange between Erin Burnett of CNN and former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente which took place just last month…

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.

#4 The chief technology officer at the CIA, Gus Hunt, made the following statement back in March

“We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”

#5 During a Senate Judiciary Oversight Committee hearing in March 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the intelligence community has the ability to access emails “as they come in”…

“We put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.”

#6 Back in 2007, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told Congress that the president has the “constitutional authority” to authorize domestic spying without warrants no matter when the law says.

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