While the president takes a break from Washington to entertain President Xi of China in California, we’re left to figure out why Verizon and presumably every other major telecommunications carrier are handing over the phone records of their customers/clients.
In a stunning report obtained from the U.K.’s Guardian News, the National Security Agency has been receiving Verizon’s customer data under a top secret court order granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and is good until July 19, the newspaper reported yesterday.
Ain’t that some shit?
Supposedly, under the terms of the order, phone numbers of both parties, the call location , the call duration and the time of all calls are handed over to the government. Reportedly, the contents of actual conversations are not revealed. You can take the government’s word for that if you wish. But for thinking folks, we think we’d better think before we speak from now on.
Considering Verizon Communications Inc. touts 121 million customers/clients between wireless, residential phone lines and commercial users, that’s a whole lot of snooping. If you combine all customers/clients of U.S. based telecommunications companies, the degree of the government’s surveilling it’s own citizenry is staggering.
While the Associated Press couldn’t authenticate the “secret order” because documents from the court are classified, we should clarify we pulled this doc. off the Internet along with every other news blogging outlet around the world. Just in case the “authorities” start looking for leakers and coconspirators, they should save time and look some place else.
When queried, Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden, had no comment. When queried, the White House declined comment and referred all questions to the NSA. When queried, the NSA had no immediate comment. It seems like everybody in America can keep their secrets but the American people.
As per usual, “national security” again robs Americans of what the values the cherish most. Hence, our lingering question; What the hell is the National Security Agency securing? America’s most precious assets like freedom as the country once knew it to be, decent jobs with security, access to affordable healthcare, access to affordable higher education and the crowning jewel civil rights, are all already long gone.
Bottom line: No, you are not paranoid, they are listening. No, you are not crazy, they are watching. No, you are not a conspiracy theorist; the government is tightening the noose. But yes, you are stupid if you think anything otherwise.