Monday, June 17, 2013

NSA admits they listen to U.S. phone calls without a warrant, more than half the Senate skips briefing

By Madison Ruppert
End the Lie

In a secret briefing, the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted they can listen to U.S. phone calls and other communications without a warrant but over half of the Senate decided to fly out of Washington D.C. early and skip the briefing on the NSA’s surveillance programs.

According to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), in a secret briefing the NSA told members of Congress that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the NSA and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (Image credit: csis_er/Flickr)
(Image credit: csis_er/Flickr) 

This makes the uncovering of programs like PRISM, Boundless Informant and the turning over of all U.S. phone records by Verizon that much more troubling since the government previously insisted that they did not access actual content.

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” apparently all that is required is an analyst’s decision, according to an in-depth article written by Declan McCullagh for CNET.

Nadler said he was told that no legal authorization is required, just an analyst’s decision, much like what was said by leaker Edward Snowden.

“I was rather startled,” said Nadler, a lawyer and member of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary and ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.