The US Government Spying on Americans
Two American senators with access to top-secret intelligence raised the alarm in May, suggesting that the invasion of law-abiding Americans’ privacy was being carried out clandestinely – and that people would be shocked if they knew the extent.
“I want to deliver a warning this afternoon,” Senator Ron Wyden said on May 26 during a Senate debate. “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry.”
Observers surmise that ordinary people may be caught up in an electronic dragnet searching for terrorists. Civil liberties advocates suggest that intelligence and law-enforcement agencies may be reading and cataloguing people’s e-mails in databases, as well as tracking their mobile phone locations.
The American Civil Liberties Union has launched an extensive campaign to find out exactly how portions of the Patriot Act have been interpreted, and whether e-mails were being swept up and mobile phones tracked without probable cause.
Michael German is a 16-year FBI veteran of counterterrorism operations who quit the bureau and later joined the ACLU. He told Al Jazeera English: “It’s clear the government is broadly collecting information regarding innocent Americans. It appears officials no longer need individualized suspicion, and a person’s good conduct does not protect them from scrutiny.”
[Excerpt of Aljazeera article by Robert Kennedy]