Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bush: we do not listen to domestic phone calls

At a news conference with [Australian] Prime Minister John Howard, Mr Bush again defended phone and e-mail monitoring as necessary to "connect dots to protect the American people" against Al-Qaeda terrorists.
"I’ve also been clear about the fact that we do not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval and that this Government will continue to guard the privacy of the American people," he said.
But Mr Bush responded carefully when asked about reports of a controversial program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) to compile a database with tens of millions of phone records supplied by US phone companies.
A reporter asked: "You’ve said that the Government is not trolling through the lives of innocent Americans, but why shouldn’t ordinary people feel that their privacy is invaded by the NSA compiling a list of their telephone calls?"
The President responded, "The program he’s asking about is one that has been fully briefed to members of the United States Congress in both political parties. They’re very aware of what is taking place."
From: Bush admits anti-terror data base

5 comments:

NYC Educator said...

Journalists on ABC News now report that the wiretapping extends to reporters as well as tracing their sources, and sources of leaks.

Cartledge said...

I guess the attempted 'illegal immigration' diversion might not head this one off.
I'm not sure why the issue was dealt with at an US/Australian joint press conference, but it sure has legs.

reality-based educator said...

Bush is lying. You can see it in his eyes when he talks about this issue. He's parsing words, not telling the full truth, and as the rolling discolsures continue to come, we will probably find out that the administration is tracking records of "enemies" (like Nixon's old "enemies list), using the IRS on people they don't like, tracking Internet patterns, reading emails, listening to calls, etc.

Cartledge said...

I've been musing over this data mining. Two (or two million for that matter) can play at that game.
If someone can come up with the appropriate trigger words the list should be widely disseminated to allow their 'innocent' use in every possible communication.
I'm sure the blogoshere would be capable of speading the list widely. They might even make interesting messenger names :)
It would be interesting to see any government ban the use of words.

Kvatch said...

There are all sorts of interesting ways to catch the government. Many bloggers have suggested using "honeypots" to catch the NSA/CIA/whomever trolling over Internet activity. The calls are just another dimension of this.

Interestingly, Bush continues to assert that he's briefed Congress, as if that is his only responsibility for assuring the program's legality. Quite the contrary, if the program were to be found to be illegal, wouldn't the fact that Congress was briefed, but didn't do anything about it, make them co-conspirators?

Whoops, think I've got a blog topic for tomorrow. Thanks.