Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.We are talking about the data on phone calls by roughly 120 million people. That's a whole lot of secret surveillance. Wish that was all of it:
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.The Post reports that the program, apparently known as PRISM, relies upon the voluntary cooperation of various internet service providers.
The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted traffic of substantial intelligence interest during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.So pretty much every company involved in moving your shit around on the intertubes -- email, blogs, IMs, whatever -- is promptly shoveling that shit right over to the NSA so the federal government can get up in your Kool-Aid. And the Post -- really deep in the article, to ensure that most people don't read that far, states that "President Obama presided over exponential growth in a program that candidate Obama criticized." Ain't that the way of it? The other guy is eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil for doing something, but once you get the chance to do the same thing, it's cool. Fuck that.
Basically, my view on the whole thing is that if the government is reading my emails, my blog, or whatever
is that if they don't like it, fuck 'em. Come and get some, y'all.