Appearing today on Democracy Now!, Glenn Greenwald spoke about the federal government’s secretive and massive collection of domestic digital communications. On Thursday, the Guardian published an expose by Greenwald of the NSA’s collection, by court order, of call data for millions of Verizon customers. The Guardian and the Washington Post followed immediately with exposes of another program called “PRISM.” That program involved the collection of many more kinds of digital data, including “email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.”
A British newspaper, The Guardian, has published evidence supporting the claims of whistleblowers that the National Security Agency tracks domestic phone calls on a massive scale. In a June 5 article,”NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” columnist Glenn Greenwald quoted from an April 25 order from a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court.
The trial of Private Bradley Manning, began Monday at Fort Meade, a military base in Maryland, north of Washington, DC. Manning has been in custody since his arrest on May 29, 2010 on charges of disclosing classified information to Wikileaks.
The Justice Department’s surveillance of news media extended beyond the Associated Press, according to the Washington Post (May 19). Court records document the efforts of FBI investigators to track the movements and communications of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Officials believed he might lead them to the person who revealed classified information about North Korea in 2009.
The Associated Press revealed on May 13 that the Justice Department secretly seized phone records for “more than 20 telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012.”More than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted,” according to AP.
“These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.” – AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt