Revelations today of another secret National Security Agency program shows again the need for Congress and the courts to better supervise domestic spying to make sure it is justified and legal.
The new program, which began soon after Sept. 11, collects phone records of millions of ordinary Americans in a massive database that the NSA then analyzes for calling patterns that might reveal terrorism activity, USA Today reported.
If that’s true, the NSA’s monitoring of Americans is much more extensive than the warrantless surveillance program first reported last year. In defending that program, President Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international phone calls and e-mails to or from suspected terrorists. But as it turns out, if you call your next-door neighbor, a record of that call may end up in the NSA database.
Americans are all for fighting terrorism. But they need protections to make sure that the spying is justified and the government isn’t violating their civil liberties.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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