NSA ability to warrantlessly wiretap
The former NSA official held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says. —Wired Magazine, April 2012
Last week, in Wired Magazine, noted author James Bamford reported on an expansive $2 billion “data center” being built by the NSA in Utah that will house an almost unimaginable amount of data on its servers, along with the world’s fastest supercomputers. Part of the purpose of this new center, according to Bamford, is to store “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter.’”
The NSA has claimed it only has access to emails and phone calls of non-U.S. citizens overseas, but former NSA official William Binney [who in his interview with Bamford confirmed that] the program indeed targets US based email records. In the 11 years since 9/11, Binney estimates 15 to 20 trillion “transactions” have been collected and stored by the NSA.
An excerpt from the Wired article reads:
He explains that the agency … chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country—large, windowless buildings known as switches—thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. “I think there’s 10 to 20 of them,” Binney says. “That’s not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.”