WSJ: NSA Monitoring Includes Three Major Phone Companies, as Well as Online Activity

Honestly, I don’t know why so many people are getting so upset about this. Let me rephrase that: I honestly don’t know why so many people are just now getting so upset about this!

Unless you’ve been practicing willful ignorance — for political or other reasons — then you’ve known full well about (or at the very least had damn good reason to suspect) most of this, as I have, for almost a full fucking decade.

The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions


The NSA’s efforts have become institutionalized—yet not so well known to the public—under laws passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


The Obama administration, which inherited and embraced the program from the George W. Bush administration, moved Thursday to forcefully defend it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest called it “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terror threats.”

Like an awful lot of Americans, one of the first cogent thoughts I was able to put together in the wake of that terrible faith-based initiative that we’ve come to refer to as “9/11” — after spending the better part of the 11th and 12th just holding my wife and son — was “well, I guess we’re about to lose an awful lot of our personal freedoms.” Turns out those were awfully prescient thoughts.

Land of the free…

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