"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
In 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T for cooperating with an NSA wiretapping program that created a "black room" in their San Fransisco office, which operated hardware that captured the entire stream of data travelling through AT&T's system (allegedly 2.5 gigabits of data/second). The details of this arrangement were revealed by Mark Klein, a 22-year employee with AT&T who stumbled across documents detailing the program in 2004. The lawsuit, which alleges that AT&T illegally cooperated with the NSA's domestic spying program, is facing a major hurdle in the Senate right now as Senators have reached a tentative agreement to give the company legal immunity from actions relating to their cooperation. This story previously on MeFi. [more inside]
NSA continues TIA (Total Information Awareness) program under different name "Total Information Awareness Lives On", a Democracy Now follow up on a 2/23 story from the National Journal. This was reported earlier in the Christian Science Monitor US Plans Massive Data Sweep Another Newsweek story, Wanted: Competent Big Brothers talks about TIA activities continuing under a program called TOPSAIL.
Bush authorized domestic spying before 9/11. What had long been understood to be protocol in the event that the NSA spied on average Americans was that the agency would black out the identities of those individuals or immediately destroy the information. But according to people who worked at the NSA as encryption specialists during this time, that's not what happened. On orders from Defense Department officials and President Bush, the agency kept a running list of the names of Americans in its system and made it readily available to a number of senior officials in the Bush administration, these sources said, which in essence meant the NSA was conducting a covert domestic surveillance operation in violation of the law.
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans And this is justified because of National Security. We will lose much that is personal, private, but in turn we will be protefted against the bad guys. Or will we? When NASA and CIA claim they need to spy domestically, and computers gather all data on Americans, what is left that is not what Orwell had suggested might our future be like?Or, as Morth Sahl once labelled a comic record: TheFuture Lies Ahead."