Remember when leftists freaked out over Bush’s warrantless wiretapping, which turned out to be interception of foreign communications? Well now Obama is datamining all American cellphone records in a hunt for “enemies.” And Obama’s lawyers are loosely interpreting the business logs section of the Patriot act to scoop up these logs too.
From the Guardian here:
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 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.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
The law on which the order explicitly relies is the so-called “business records” provision of the Patriot Act, 50 USC section 1861.
I’m sure the business records section was supposed to be about investigations into a business suspected of aiding and abetting terrorist organizations. It was never intended to be used as a cudgel to snarf up all of the cell records of service providers. When lefties thought Bush was doing this, they were apoplectic. Lets see if they can match their outrage now that Obama is doing it. And if you oppose these collections of American records? It means you are a racist.