Sham Surveillance Safeguards Vs. Tucker Carlson, by James Bovard

When a government says, “Trust us, we won’t overstep Constitutional boundaries and we’ll have internal procedures to make sure that doesn’t happen,” your best course of action is emigration. From James Bovard at consortiumnews:

James Bovard skewers the civil liberties watchdog board, calling it the same kind of lap dog as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Tucker Carlson in 2020. (Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson was mocked on social media this week for stating that he had been told that the National Security Agency was reading his private emails and spying on him. The usual suspects called Carlson paranoid, because there are so many checks and balances to assure the feds would never illegally target a vexatious critic of President Joe Biden.

However, late last month, a dissent by Travis LeBlanc, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, revealed that one of the NSA’s most intrusive surveillance engines, XKeyscore, may be violating federal law and Americans’ rights and privacy.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents proving that XKeyscore was the surveillance state’s incarnation of paranoia. What did it take for the NSA to justify vacuuming up Americans’ emails and internet data? Merely detecting “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.”

The peril of that farcical standard was compounded because, as Snowden explained, NSA surveillance tools enabled him to “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.” Thanks to its all-encompassing standard of “suspicious,” NSA has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion [email and phone] transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens,” according to former NSA senior analyst William Binney.

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