"The President said that no abuse was ongoing:
What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they’re not abused is because they’re — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.Well, that’s not true either. The Post’s report is utterly damning. A few excerpts for flavor:
They [infractions that broke the law] range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls. [...] In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. [...]It gets worse. The Post spoke to members of the government close to the situation who stated that the above figures only count infractions recorded at the NSA’s headquarters, and other Washington facilities. So, the tally and examples do not take into account the abuses of the private data of United States citizens by other parts of the NSA."
Despite the quadrupling of the NSA’s oversight staff after a series of significant violations in 2009, the rate of infractions increased throughout 2011 and early 2012. [...]
James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has acknowledged that the court found the NSA in breach of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but the Obama administration has fought a Freedom of Information lawsuit that seeks the opinion.
Generally, the NSA reveals nothing in public about its errors and infractions.
The government claims it is collecting our phone and Internet meta data in order to track down terrorists. The government has no evidence we are terrorists. It uses this metadata, they say, to track down suspected terrorists. Then it kills those suspected terrorists. Some times those suspected terrorists have been US citizens.
The government acts as if meta data is this rather anonymous class of information. This is a falsehood. Meta data contains a treasure trove of information. Go to iPhoto and look at the data in a photo. It can have GPS data, time the picture was taken, the camera. If you've added information regarding who was in the photo, that is meta data. If you've added a title, that is meta data. This data can be linked to other photo meta data and a clear picture can emerge, without the actual photo. Meta data tells a lot.
The government claims there are no abuses of this program. This is false.
The government claims this is only used to track down terrorists. This is false.
These NSA programs are atrocities and should be shut down completely.