Monday, June 08, 2015

NATIONAL SECURITY - U.S. Now More Vulnerable

(aka "The Harm Traitor Edward Snowden Has Wrought")

Note, as I've said in the past, I know what the data being collected is, due to past employment.  It DOES NOT contain names nor addresses.  It is the data use by phone companies' billing computers (which are separate) to calculate your phone bill.

"What happens now that the NSA isn’t logging your calls" PBS NewsHour 6/1/2015


SUMMARY:  For the first time in nearly 14 years, the National Security Agency is no longer allowed to log every time an American picks up the telephone to call someone.  Overnight, three key provisions of the Patriot Act were allowed by the Senate to expire, despite exhortations by the White House.  Gwen Ifill talks to Charlie Savage of The New York Times about what happens now.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  After a weekend of intraparty wrangling, the Senate allowed three key provisions of the post-9/11 Patriot Act to expire at midnight.

The three National Security Agency programs targeted by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul permitted the NSA’s sweeping bulk collection of phone data, allowed the agency to use roving wiretaps to track terror suspects, and created a so-called lone wolf program to track suspects outside terror networks.

To examine what happens now, we turn to Charlie Savage, who covers national security for The New York Times.

So, Charlie, tell us as succinctly as you can what this lapse that we saw dramatically happen last night, what does it actually mean?

CHARLIE SAVAGE, The New York Times:  Well, it means that right now, for the first time in nearly 14 years, when Americans pick up the phone and call somebody, call their friend, their lover, a businessman, a bank, a pizza place, the NSA is not taking a log of that contact and adding it to its government database to be stored and analyzed for the next five years.

And it means that when terrorism investigators find a newly suspicious number, they can’t just check their own database to see if anyone on U.S. soil has been in contact with that number.  They have to use a subpoena to go to the phone company and see if they have seen a trace of that number before and kind of wait for that response.

GWEN IFILL:  So, the subpoena is the backup plan, but it takes a lot longer for this to happen, presumably?

CHARLIE SAVAGE:  Well, it takes somewhat longer.  Under the bulk phone program, they still had to go to the spy court for the last couple years and get the court’s permission to check the database.  So, in that sense, it wasn’t an instantaneous thing either.

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