Not that the US hasn’t been one for quite some time, but lifting the veil or if you prefer an Oz reference, peeking behind the curtain, has been difficult, because most of it has been kept a secret. Today the WSJ gives us a look at another “sliver” of the surveillance that apparently goes on routinely via secret orders:
The National Security Agency is obtaining a complete set of phone records from all Verizon U.S. customers under a secret court order, according to a published account and former officials.
The account provides fresh evidence that NSA’s far-reaching domestic surveillance effort has continued after Congress passed a law five years ago to institutionalize a post-9/11 warrantless surveillance program.
The revelation of the secret order appears to lift the veil on a broad NSA domestic collection program under way, which former government officials say represents just a sliver of the domestic data NSA is taking in and which includes all types of communications data, such as emails and records of Internet browsing. The data collection began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to several former intelligence officials.
NSA is only one of many government agencies conducting this sort of surveillance. And of course, we now have drones approved for domestic use.
I’ve said this many times, but terrorism has been the excuse for an vast expansion of government intrusion the like of which we’ve never seen before.
While I may fear a terrorist attack, the chances of being involved in one are almost if not completely statistically improbable. The chance that I’ll be a subject of freedom stealing intrusion from government? When’s you next plane trip?