U.S. President George W. Bush and his aides have said his executive order allowing eavesdropping without warrants was limited to monitoring international phone and e-mail communications linked to people with connections to al-Qaeda. What has not been acknowledged, according to the Times, is that NSA technicians combed large amounts of phone and Internet traffic seeking patterns pointing to terrorism suspects.Not that they can't watch outside the U.S. Wait, isn't that what they're supposed to do?
Some officials described the program as a large data mining operation, the Times said, and described it as much larger than the White House has acknowledged.
Several officials said senior government officials went to the nation's big telecommunications companies to get access to switches that act as gateways between U.S. and international communications.
Many calls going from one foreign country to another are routed through U.S. switches and a communications expert who once worked at the NSA said in recent years government officials have been encouraging the telecommunications industry to bring more international traffic through U.S.-based switches.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
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12/25 - 01/01
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