by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 21st 2009 10:31pm
A bunch of folks have been sending in the news, as revealed by Russell Tice, who was one of the major "whistleblowers" on the NSA's questionable warrantless wiretapping activities, that the NSA was not just (as the gov't has claimed) spying on known terrorist threats, but was spying on journalists on a regular basis. Specifically, they were collecting pretty much everything (emails, phone calls, etc.) on certain journalism organizations. He explains that he was officially put on a project supposedly to "weed out" that info, but that it was a deception so that the NSA had some cover if called on it. Instead, he found that all of the data was being recorded. This seems to be an even bigger breach of the surveillance laws. Now, before some people jump up and down in the comments about protecting us from terrorists -- the point here is that there are perfectly good laws allowing intelligence representatives to tap into communications of potential terrorists. The problem here is that it appears the administration went well beyond that, spied on those who were not at all involved in terrorist activities and did not use the legally prescribed process of obtaining warrants (probably because they never would have been granted).
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