|Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.
Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.
The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages—and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.
Among the most valuable contents—which The Post will not describe in detail, to avoid interfering with ongoing operations—are fresh revelations about a secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks. […]
Taken together, the files offer an unprecedented vantage point on the changes wrought by Section 702 of the FISA amendments, which enabled the NSA to make freer use of methods that for 30 years had required probable cause and a warrant from a judge. One program, code-namedPRISM, extracts content stored in user accounts at Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and five other leading Internet companies. Another, known inside the NSA as Upstream, intercepts data on the move as it crosses the U.S. junctions of global voice and data networks.
No government oversight body, including the Justice Department, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, intelligence committees in Congress or the president’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has delved into a comparably large sample of what the NSA actually collects—not only from its targets but also from people who may cross a target’s path. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004—Obama one step closer to the Senate:
|While the Illinois GOP hillariously tries to draft Mike Ditka into the Senate race, Barack Obama effectively sealed his election by raising a solid $4 million in a single quarter.
It's clear that Obama will have whatever resources are necessary to wage his battle, and it should ensure that no legitimate Republican will step to the plate to serve as the GOP's sacrificial lamb.
Update: Oops. It looks like Ditka is being drafted to head the Illinois Republican Party. That's probably even lamer than trying to get him in the Senate race. The Senate race is still hostile territory for any GOoPer willing to enter the fray.
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