Saturday, June 29, 2013


Glenn Greenwald leaks the next big leak

‘What we are really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency. It doesn't mean they're listening to every call. It means they're storing every call and have the capacity to listen to them at any time.’ Glenn Greenwald

by Larry Geller

Slate previewed Glenn Greenwald’s next Guardian article as revealed in a speech Greenwald gave via Skype on Friday night.

So they have all of our phone calls after all, if the report turns out to be credible. That’s incredible.

Well, why can’t they put this vast database to some practical use?

Just as an example, if the NSA does have the last phone call that Trayvon Martin made to his friend before he was shot, it would really help if they’d cough it up while the trial is under way.

Or, what exactly was I told to go pick up at Whole Foods? C’mon, NSA, let me hear that phone call again. There could be an app for that.

Seriously, this assertion is serious. It raises the question of what exactly “listening” to our phone calls is, and whether government officials are still lying to us (of course they are, that isn’t really in doubt). Let’s see how they squirm out of having said they don’t record the contents of phone calls.

Can the NSA listen to attorney-client phone conversations? Sounds like it.

Could they listen to everything that was said between President Clinton and his, um, intern, if he were in office today? Sound like they can.

With 4.9 million individuals holding security clearances, it also raises the question of who can listen to whom, where “who” and “whom” are now huge classes of people.

The same Slate article flashed back to a top secret document from 2010 that revealed:

The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails.

The document explicitly called the EU a "target".

[Slate, Glenn Greenwald Previews the Guardian's Next NSA Surveillance Document Leak, 6/29/2013]

The timing of the Guardian articles is like an exquisite tease. I find myself tapping the icon for the Guardian app several times a day just to find out what’s been leaked next. Or to learn if Seal Team Six has visited the passenger lounge at the Moscow airport.


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