CommunityFDL Main Blog

The NSA Is Reading Your Communications With People Overseas

The New York Times has further proof that the National Security Agency is reading vast quantities of Americans’ communications without warrants. From NYT:

The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.

While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans’ communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations. […]

Computer scientists said that it would be difficult to systematically search the contents of the communications without first gathering nearly all cross-border text-based data; fiber-optic networks work by breaking messages into tiny packets that flow at the speed of light over different pathways to their shared destination, so they would need to be captured and reassembled.

While some NSA lackey may try to spin this search for keywords as not “reading” your communications, but what they are doing is having a computer read your communications.

Analysts only then look at the communications if they contain the right keywords, but I see nothing that would stop the NSA from creating whatever keywords they want to justify reading whatever emails they want. We already know for a fact that people at the NSA have previously abused their power to intercept Americans’ communications.

It seems that if you email or text someone in another country, the NSA will read your messages without a warrant. Your right to privacy continues to shrink ever smaller.

CommunityFDL Action

The NSA Is Reading Your Communications With People Overseas

The New York Times has further proof that the National Security Agency is reading vast quantities of Americans’ communications without warrants. From NYT:

The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official.

While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans’ communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations. […]

Computer scientists said that it would be difficult to systematically search the contents of the communications without first gathering nearly all cross-border text-based data; fiber-optic networks work by breaking messages into tiny packets that flow at the speed of light over different pathways to their shared destination, so they would need to be captured and reassembled.

While some NSA lackey may try to spin this search for keywords as not “reading” your communications, but what they are doing is having a computer read your communications.

Analysts only then look at the communications if they contain the right keywords, but I see nothing that would stop the NSA from creating whatever keywords they want to justify reading whatever emails they want. We already know for a fact that people at the NSA have previously abused their power to intercept Americans’ communications.

It seems that if you email or text someone in another country, the NSA will read your messages without a warrant. Your right to privacy continues to shrink ever smaller. (more…)

Previous post

IRS Manual Contained DEA’s Use of Secret Intel Evidence

Next post

Sentencing Phase of Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 7 (Live Updates)

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com