Three National Security Agency whistle blowers told Viewpoint host Eliot Spitzer on Monday that the agency was gathering information on every person in the United States.
The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008 gave the NSA broad powers to monitor international phone calls and emails, and granted legal immunity to telecommunication companies that had participated in the Bush administration’s wiretapping program prior to 2008. But former senior official Thomas Drake, former senior analyst Kirk Wiebe, and former technical director William Binney said the NSA was not only monitoring international communications — the agency had been spying on “the entire country.”
Drake said there was a “key decision made shortly after 9/11, which began to rapidly turn the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet blanket electronic surveillance.”
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was originally enacted by Congress to prevent the worst abuses of the Nixon administration from occurring again. The law established the FISA court, which regulates the government’s conduct of intelligence surveillance inside the United States and generally requires the government to seek warrants before monitoring communications.
But civil liberties advocates have warned the FISA court has become an informational black hole. Since the FAA passed act passed, the FISA court has continued to operate in complete secrecy with greatly enhanced authority to approve dragnet-style surveillance, yet it has released less than two pages of information on their activities every year since.
The three whistle blowers explained that the NSA was amassing huge amounts of communication data in hopes of using computer algorithms to search for suspicious conversations.
“When you open up the Pandora’s Box of just getting access to incredible amounts of data, for people that have no reason to be put under suspicion, no reason to have done anything wrong, and just collect all that for potential future use or even current use, it opens up a real danger — and to what else what they could use that data for, particularly when it’s all being hidden behind the mantle of national security,” Drake said.
Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:
‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized
During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.
Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.
"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.
Lindsey Graham drives bus over Trump kids to get to Biden: ‘You can’t investigate one family and not the other’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested on Sunday that the children of both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden should be investigated.
While speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Graham was asked if he is calling for an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son over dealings in the Ukraine. President Donald Trump allegedly also asked Ukraine's president for help with the Bidens.
"Yeah, I want the Department of Justice to appoint somebody to look at the role the Ukraine played if any in the 2016 elections," Graham told Bartiromo. "There are a lot of allegations out there how Ukraine fed information maybe to the Democrats."
Entire CNN panel beats down Santorum for Ukraine misinformation: ‘You don’t get to decide what the facts are’
Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum was called out on Sunday after he seemed to be uneducated about President Donald Trump's attempt to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Republican contributor Mia Love said that Trump's communication with Ukraine was not "appropriate" if he was looking for campaign help.
"There is no equivalence between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and what this president has allegedly done," Democratic consultant Karen Finney noted. "The things that were investigated against the Bidens [were] shelved, totally debunked."