445 days to go

Elliot Cohen writes:

According to the EFF, the secret rooms created under the supervision of the NSA contain “powerful computer equipment connected to separate networks. This equipment is designed to analyze communications at high speed, and can be programmed to review and select out the contents and traffic patterns of communications according to user-defined rules” [emphasis added].

In the absence of judicial oversight, there is no way of knowing what the system’s predefined definitions are.

Therefore, it is not possible to discern who else the government may be targeting with neither warrant nor probable cause—perhaps lawbreakers such as drug traffickers, Internet predators and money launderers; but targets might just as well include investigative journalists, political opponents and other persons deemed hostile to the Bush administration.

It is also difficult or impossible to tell, without judicial oversight, how the Bush administration might use this information.

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