ACLU on Obama’s NSA Snooping on Verizon Customers: ‘It Is Beyond Orwellian’

Posted by on Jun 06, 2013 at 7:01 am

Well, well, well, now the left is suddenly in high dudgeon over Obama and his band of thugs snooping on Americans. Welcome to the party, folks. We don’t recall any cacophony of outrage when it was discovered Obama and Holder put Fox News reporter James Rosen and his parents under surveillance, but now it’s different, apparently.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order, according to the Guardian.

The British newspaper obtained the order, which requires Verizon to give the NSA information on all of its customers’ phone calls—not just those under any suspicion of wrongdoing. The order covers the numbers of both callers, the time and duration of the calls and other identifying information. The order does not cover the contents of conversations or text messages.

The order by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court covers all Verizon call information between April 25 and July 19. Verizon is barred from discussing the order.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the program was put in place under a controversial provision of the Patriot Act.

“From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents,” Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, said in a statement. “It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

Michelle Richardson, an ACLU legislative counsel, called the program unconstitutional and urged Congress to launch a full investigation.

Are they ready to be called racist? Don’t they know that even the mention of the letters IRS means you’re racist? Wouldn’t yet another Congressional investigation into the nefarious Obama activities constitute an overreach? Perhaps not since even the bloated windbag Al Gore is apoplectic.
Strange, but Gore was silent when we learned about the invasion into Rosen’s privacy. Not a peep about that or any other Obama scandal in his timeline. Why the sudden concern? Meanwhile, if you’re a liberal included to say Booooosh now that you realize you’re under surveillance, here’s a history lesson for you.

To refresh your memories: If an NSA surveillance program tracks all international communications (or all international communications to al Qaeda hotspots such as Afghanistan), it does not target specific individuals as required by 1801(f)(1). If the communications are intercepted outside the U.S., the NSA program falls outside the definitions in 1801(f)(2) and 1801(f)(4). If the program excludes intentional capture of purely domestic communications, it falls outside the scope of 1801(f)(3).

Bottom line: a massive surveillance system that intercepts millions or billions of international calls and e-mails may not constitute electronic survellance as defined by FISA, provided that the interception occurs outside the United States and neither specific individuals nor purely domestic calls are targeted.

Under Bush, collection of purely domestic calls was rare or inadvertent — by the New York Times’ own admission.

Under Obama, massive, blanket collection of data involving purely domestic calls placed by Americans to other Americans is the intended objective, not an accident.

Leave it to Greg Gutfeld to wryly sum things up.
Leave it to Drudge to put this photo up:

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22 Responses to “ACLU on Obama’s NSA Snooping on Verizon Customers: ‘It Is Beyond Orwellian’”

  1. Wisco on 6/06/13 at 9:27 am

    Selective outrage. It’s a PATRIOT ACT provision and therefore entirely legal — the result of rightwing demands for a post-9/11 police state.

    What Bush was doing with warrentless wiretapping, on the other hand, was unquestionably illegal. If it wasn’t, why did Republicans see the need to change the law after the fact?

    I’m not happy with this. But this is exactly the sort of thing you’d be cheering under a Republican president, insisting that that president’s critics hated America and were siding with terrorists — you know, like the right did under Bush.

    As always, it’s only OK when a Republican does it.

  2. Blue Hen on 6/06/13 at 9:52 am

    Wisco: “I’m using selective logic”

    Delaware’s own Joe Biden and many dems voted for the Patriot act. Many of those same dems voted to extend it. And your dear leader presided over that. And you were selective about the article as well. The Boooooooooosh administration didn’t do anything on this scale, which is part of the point. We were told that all calls would be monitored and that people would be jailed for library books. And all of that was bullshit.

    Your precious dear leader did this, not Boooooooooooosh. Still, it’s fun to watch you hide behind rethuglickans instead of daring to disagree with your dear leader. Coward.

  3. Hobbiehawk on 6/06/13 at 10:26 am

    The Reactionary reflex – blame Bush.

    Blame the Kulaks.

    Blame Goldstein.

    Blame Snowball.

    Comrade Stalin…. er Obama would never do anything wrong.

  4. jdpaz on 6/06/13 at 11:39 am

    Does Obamam know about this?

    What a silly question! He just heard about it this morning just like all y’all.

  5. rrpjr on 6/06/13 at 11:46 am

    “But this is exactly the sort of thing you’d be cheering under a Republican president,…”

    Rewriting history. MANY conservatives and a plurality of libertarians objected to Bush’s wiretapping of terrorists (I note again here the difference between Bush’s wiretapping of terrorists and Obama’s blanket trawling, which you of course will ignore).

    Moreover, again, where is the massive MSM outrage and front page pieces in the NY Times (as when they exposed the perfectly legal SWIFT program that was scooping up valuable terrorist data). Leftism is an ongoing extravaganza of sick and shameless hypocrisy. As soon as Obama was president all the anti-war marches and sham “bring the troops home” hate-fests vanished. The Left condemned the Patriot Act until Obama was in office and expanded and weaponized it, and now they attempt to temporize and draw fine distinctions over massive wholesale invasions of privacy. As Camille Paglia said, Obamacare itself is the greatest institutionalized invasion of privacy in American history and any “liberal” who supported it has forever sacrificed his right to call himself one. Totalitarian freaks.

  6. Rob Crawford on 6/06/13 at 1:26 pm

    “I note again here the difference between Bush’s wiretapping of terrorists and Obama’s blanket trawling, which you of course will ignore”

    Yes — the left was in a high dudgeon over the Bush administration tapping SOME international calls. Never mind that anything crossing the borders is searchable without warrants.

    This program is for all domestic calls, including local calls! This isn’t selectivity, it’s a “collect it all; we’ll find a use for it someday”.

    Then we add in Obama’s love of using law enforcement as a wing of his political campaign — Bush NEVER did anything anywhere close to that!

  7. it's those darn kids. on 6/06/13 at 1:46 pm

    This is Obviously Boooooooooooosh Hitler’s fault.

    I mean, my selective Boooooooosh! outrage is never wrong. He’s been out of office for years & everyone knows Obama doesn’t know or do anything. that’s what a figure head does (or doesn’t do?).

    Also, numbskull, legal doesn’t make right. Abortion much?

  8. it's those darn kids. on 6/06/13 at 1:50 pm

    also: it must suck to be a Verizon customer service representative today.

  9. Jon Brooks on 6/06/13 at 2:47 pm

    Let me plant a seed. I am hoping others can be the soil and the water and the tender loving care to help it grow. It’s nothing but a feel good thing but every now and then you just have to feel good even if it really doesn’t mean anything in particular, so:

    What about on July the 4th everyone in America at precisely
    High Noon calls someone, anyone really and just yells into the phone…..”WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE”RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!” Or whispers “hey vlad, got the suitcase nuke yet? If so we’ll detonate it tonight. Don’t tell anyone.” Or the more ad hominem F*ck him/her etc.

    Now go out and spread the seed.

  10. Decaf on 7/07/13 at 9:18 am

    “The National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order, ”

    I’m not going to rationalize or try to get at an answer, I just want to gloat. We are at the stage where the scorpion stings the Democrats.

  11. Decaf on 7/07/13 at 9:21 am

    What I meant with my previous post is that now Lefties are wondering what they said to whom, and when, that could get them into trouble.


  12. Jon Brooks on 7/07/13 at 10:34 am

    Reclaiming the Senate in 2014 is suddenly looking a little better.
    Increasing the probability of lame duckhood for obambi just makes me smile ever larger. Then if we can get the presidency on 2016
    we can get the NSA to change those software search words to: liberal, Rice, Jarret, commie, holder, etc. etc.

  13. Annie Moss on 7/07/13 at 10:41 am

    Here’s an easy way to discern President Obama’s intention on this issue:

    IF he objects to this Orwellian Observation of the citizens, he can simply issue an order TODAY, that discontinues it.

    After all, didn’t he declare an end to the War on Terror? So what would be the point in continuing this surveillance?

    IF he DOESN’T discontinue this surveillance, we need to ask WHY?

  14. Vic Kelley on 8/08/13 at 5:33 pm

    ““…it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret…”

    Is “surrendered” the right word? I felt like it was when the Patriot Act was passed. At that time not enough people resisted it. Apparently the obama regime has gone above and beyond the Patriot Act and has ILLEGALLY been violating our rights. That sounds more active than “surrendered.”