It seems Edward Snowden wasn’t exaggerating when he said he could access the contents of anybody’s communications.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says he learned during a classified briefing that the NSA isn’t getting warrants to listen to our phone calls, and by extension to reading our emails and texts. He was told that low-level analysts can make that decision.
For more, see “NSA admits listening to U. S. phone calls without warrants,” Declan McCullagh, CNET News.
Note that Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo is questioning the accuracy of this story. But Marshall seems to be relying on an unclassified briefing (he uses video from C-Span), whereas Nadler is referring to a classified briefing.