Here We Go


The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

…"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.
The only provider approached who declined to participate because of concerns about the legality was Qwest. The article gives some insight into just how tough a decision this was for the company, who was harassed by the NSA because of their refusal to go along with this scheme.

My local phone provider is Verizon, which is such a pile of shit that we don’t have a landline. We’ve got one Sprint cell phone, and that’s it—which doesn’t protect us if we’re calling someone who’s got AT&T, Verizon, or BellSouth, but is at least a start. I would suggest that in addition to making efforts to hold the government accountable for this unprecedented intrusion into our private communications, we make every effort possible to punish AT&T (SBC), Verizon, and BellSouth for their participation in this enterprise. If you don’t have an alternative local provider like Qwest, ditch the landline and get a cell phone. Or sign up for Skype online, which you can use to make phone calls. The three big telecoms who engaged in this criminal enterprise don’t deserve another penny of our money.

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