USA Today Reveals Massive NSA Database of Americans' Phone Calls
USA Today reported that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting call record information on millions of Americans. A person who declined to be identified by name or affiliation described it as the largest database ever made and went on to say that the agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's border.
AT&T, Verizon and Bell South co-operated with the NSA, but Qwest, did refuse to participate in the NSA program because of concerns about its expansiveness and the lack of judicial oversight, USA TODAY reported. Indeed Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questioned why the phone companies would cooperate with the NSA.
"Why are the telephone companies not protecting their customers?" he asked "They have a social responsibility to people who do business with them to protect our privacy as long as there isn't some suspicion that we're a terrorist or a criminal or something." See USAToday 5/10/06
The USA today report flatly contradicts statements made by the White House and former NSA Director Michael Hayden that the domestic surveillance program was "highly targeted" and directed only to " International communications" which prompted this outburst from Senator Leahy (D-VT) at a morning hearing:
"Are you telling me tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaeda? These are tens of millions of Americans who are not suspected of anything." See USAToday 5/11/06
A few Senators like Jeff Sessions (R-AL) are trying to downplay the incident saying there is nothing to worry about. "I don't think this action is nearly as troublesome as being made out here because they are not tapping our phones. However, Senator Specter (R-PA) said he will subpoena telephone company records about the program.
Last modified May 12, 2006 06:06 AM