NSA Purchases Americans’ Internet Browsing Data
The United States National Security Agency (nsa) has been embroiled in domestic spying scandals for over a decade. Yet exposé after exposé has not convinced nsa leadership to start respecting Americans’ constitutional right to privacy.
According to documents released by Sen. Ron Wyden on January 25, the nsa has been buying Americans’ Internet browsing information from data brokers without warrants. nsa Director Paul Nakasone confirmed the nsa purchases, saying in his letter to Wyden that the data collected “may include information associated with electronic devices being used outside—and, in certain cases, inside—the United States.”
Illegal surveillance: The nsa defended its data purchases by saying the information has value for national security and cybersecurity missions. Yet obtaining records of Americans’ browsing data without a warrant violates U.S. Federal Trade Commission standards, as well as the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause.
Totalitarian state: In 2013, Edward Snowden provided proof of the spying program Prism in which nine major tech companies (Apple, aol, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo and YouTube) provided Barack Obama’s nsa and Federal Bureau of Investigation with their users’ e-mail messages, audio and video recordings, photographs, documents and location data.
Why did the government need all of this data?
Another nsa whistleblower, William Binney, told James Bamford that the nsa was building a turnkey totalitarian state. Although the U.S. is not totalitarian like Communist nations and dictatorships, it has installed all the parts necessary. All that is needed is for the right people to turn the key.
Learn more: Read “Is the ‘Deep State’ Real?”