Picture 2

Picture 2

Mar 28, 2016

In Defense of Snooping

Everybody knows the ultra-secretive NSA was snooping.  The program was called Stellarwind.  The snooping of Stellarwind has always been falsely described as listening in.  In fact it was more like reading the addresses and return addresses on envelopes, something which was routinely done without a warrant back in the days of snail mail.  The NSA tracked what phone originated each call and what phone was dialed, and that's all.  No phone conversations were listened to without a warrant, at least under Stellarwind.  Based on who called who, Stellarwind constructed a pattern of groups of people who were in contact with each other.  Whether that was a big enough threat to privacy for it to be cancelled is a question for the reader.  My personal opinion is that it's a very close call.  I would feel better about allowing the NSA to do it if Lois Lerner had not deployed IRS powers against President Obama's political enemies.  I still think it's probably worth doing despite the risk of abuse. 
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