Egads! Bush Lied About Not Listening In On Phone Calls
"We do not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval."
--Bush, May 16th
Remember last week when Bush said that the NSA isn’t listening in on phone calls?
A security consultant working with a major telecommunications carrier told me that his client set up a top-secret high-speed circuit between its main computer complex and Quantico, Virginia, the site of a government-intelligence computer center. This link provided direct access to the carrier’s network core—the critical area of its system, where all its data are stored. “What the companies are doing is worse than turning over records,” the consultant said. “They’re providing total access to all the data.”
A government consultant told me that tens of thousands of Americans had had their calls monitored in one way or the other. “In the old days, you needed probable cause to listen in,” the consultant explained. “But you could not listen in to generate probable cause. What they’re doing is a violation of the spirit of the law.” One C.I.A. officer told me that the Administration, by not approaching the FISA court early on, had made it much harder to go to the court later.
If you want to see the documents that AT& T doesn’t want you to see, check Wired magazine, and also see a description of how AT&T gave the NSA access to their internet network. Funny how that AT&T/SBC merger went through so quickly, huh?