National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
May 2, 2013
Here they go again. The Obama administration has asked its allies in Congress to introduce legislation that would permit the feds to continue their march through the Fourth Amendment when it comes to obtaining private information about all of us.
The Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right to be left alone, was written largely in response to legislation Parliament enacted in the colonial era that permitted British soldiers to write their own search warrants and then use those warrants as a legal basis to enter private homes. The ostensible purpose of doing that was to search through the colonists’ papers looking for stamps, which the Stamp Act required the colonists to affix to all documents in their possession. The laws that permitted the soldier-written search warrants and the Stamp Act were the British government’s fatal political mistakes, which arguably caused a major shift in colonial opinion toward secession from Britain 10 years before the bloody part of the Revolution began.
After the Founders won the Revolution, the Framers wrote the Constitution in large measure to assure that the new government in America would not and could not do to Americans what the king had done to the colonists. Hence the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that only judges issue search warrants and only after the governmental agency seeking the warrants presents evidence under oath of probable cause of crime. Regrettably, that was weakened after 9/11 with the enactment of the Patriot Act.
HOUSTON (AP) — Officials say a man accused of stabbing more than a dozen people at a Houston-area college told investigators that he had fantasized about cannibalism and about cutting off people’s faces and wearing them as masks.
According to a search warrant affidavit made public Thursday, Dylan Quick told an investigator that about week before the attack at Lone Star College in Cypress he had researched mass stabbings on his home computer.
The affidavit says Quick told the investigator that in preparing for the campus stabbing incident, he had sharpened things, including a hairbrush and pencils, to use as weapons.
The affidavit said investigators found several books about mass killings and serial killers in his home.
Quick is charged with three counts of aggravated assault.