If you’re shocked about Verizon’s turning phone records over to the NSA, where the hell have you been?
From a letter former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) sent to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, NSA Director Keith Alexander, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on January 23, 2006:
“One element of the NSA‘s domestic spying program that has gotten too little attention is the government’s reportedly widespread use of data mining technology to analyze the communications of ordinary Americans. Today I am calling on the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Secretary and the Director of the NSA to explain whether and how the government is using data mining technology, and what authority it claims for doing so.
Data mining is a new, unproven and intrusive technology in the counterterrorism context, and we need to know how it is being used, how effective it is in finding patterns of terrorist activity, and whether there are sufficient safeguards to protect the privacy of Americans. We can and must fight terrorism aggressively without infringing on the privacy of law-abiding Americans.” Emphasis added.