The U.S. Government is out of control. Just a few days ago, The Guardian broke a story that the NSA ordered Verizon to give the daily phone records of every single customer.
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
They’re collecting call location, duration, the time the call was placed, to whom, and much more. What does the government need with all of this information?
It is not known whether Verizon is the only cell-phone provider to be targeted with such an order, although previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks. It is also unclear from the leaked document whether the three-month order was a one-off, or the latest in a series of similar orders.
This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. These domestic spying programs began under the Bush administration with the Patriot Act and they’ve been ramped up under President Obama to unprecedented levels. According to inside sources, these surveillance programs are growing exponentially. If we don’t tell the government to cut it out, there really will be an all seeing eye watching everything we do.
So how bad is it now? Well, they’re already reading all our emails, listening into all our cell phone calls, monitoring all our Skype conversations, reading all our IM chat logs, storing all our blog posts, and basically anything else we do online. They’ve been mining Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and others for years.
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” – The Washington Post
They also know all about our finances, purchase history, credit card records, and all financial transactions. They have detailed files on all of us. They know our political views, they know who we’re talking to, and who we’re friends with. They know almost everything, yet they want more. This isn’t going to end unless we make them stop.