from EndTheLie.com: In a secret briefing, the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted
they can listen to U.S. phone calls and other communications without a
warrant but over half of the Senate decided to fly out of Washington
D.C. early and skip the briefing on the NSA’s surveillance programs.
According to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), in a secret briefing the
NSA told members of Congress that the contents of a phone call could be
accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
This makes the uncovering of programs like PRISM, Boundless Informant and the turning over of all U.S. phone records by Verizon that much more troubling since the government previously insisted that they did not access actual content.
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” apparently all that is
required is an analyst’s decision, according to an in-depth article
written by Declan McCullagh for CNET.
Nadler said he was told that no legal authorization is required, just an analyst’s decision, much like what was said by leaker Edward Snowden.
“I was rather startled,” said Nadler, a lawyer and member of the U.S.
House Committee on the Judiciary and ranking member of the Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
As CNET points out, this revelation “suggests the Justice Department
has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of
low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.”