NSA also has your credit card and financial data

Posted in Uncategorized by Ryan Locke on January 26, 2009

says Ryan.

We know NSA was monitoring faxes, phone calls, and computer information without a warrant.  We know that the telecom CEOs were complicit in the scheme — that’s why Congress passed a telecom immunity bill.

Well, now add your credit card and financial data to the growing list of stuff NSA has in their databases.  This begs the question: Did credit card companies and banks give the government this information?  Russell Tice is back and it looks like the answer’s yes.

If you look at USSID 18, the NSA’s bible on how it operates, the number one commandment of the NSAs ten commandments is You Shall Not Spy on Americans. So when this was brought up, I assume by [former NSA Director Michael] Hayden, he knew that what he was proposing was a violation of the fourth amendment and of USSID 18. And everyone at NSA knows this, too, because it’s drilled into our heads over and over again.

To get at what’s really going on here, the CEOs of these telecom companies, and also of the banking and credit card companies and any other company where you have big databases, those are the people you have to haul in to Congress and tell them you better tell the truth. Because anyone in the government is going to claim executive privilege.

That was from an interview back in 2006.  At the time it seemed like he was just speaking generally about a class of people who maintain big databases.  In actuality, it looks like he was listing the people who had given databases to NSA.  Hmm.

Another fun little tidbit from the interview:

Q: Why would the agency need to be so secretive about the AT&T rooms?

Tice: The big reason why they would put the San Francisco operation at such a high classification level is to hide the fact that they’re breaking the law and to hide the fact that they’re breaking the NSA’s own policy. It should be [the sort of project] that any NSA analyst should be able to walk in and have access to. But to cloister it away where only a few people know about it means that it’s something they don’t want anyone to know about. …

Q: So you’re saying that San Francisco and this other room [in Bridgeton] reek of “super-duper” secrecy?

Tice: Yes, it reeks of SAP. Potentially. For NSA to do what they did … it means that they knew that it was illegal and the reason they put this super high clearance on it was because they were protecting their own hides to keep anyone within NSA from finding out that it was going on. …

Let me tell you, the biggest sweat that happened at NSA happened when John Kerry almost got elected president [in 2004], because they were concerned they were all going to be thrown in jail. They were all wiping sweat off their forehead when he lost. That’s the scuttlebutt.


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