Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on ABC News "This Week" program yesterday to preview a story he will be publishing this week on just how widespread is the NSA spying on Americans. His revelations may shock you.
Among Greenwald's claims is this shocker:
The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and email in their databases. What these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things: it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered; and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or connected to that IP address do in the future. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.As the Moon of Alabama website explains further:
Access to these search programs is not restricted to NSA personal. The NSA spends 70% of its budget on contractors. They do have, like Edward Snowden had, access to the search capability and thereby access to the meta- and content data.
Thinking further there is no reason to believe that these capabilities is restricted to certain facilities or just small circle of people. It is already known that U.S. and NATO soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had and have access to these systems and abused them. Does the State Department have access? Has the White House? Do political operatives have access? The very likely answers are "yes", "yes" and "yes".