In 2006, the NSA asked for and won approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, to routinely collect the dialing records of domestic phone calls. The judges, to the surprise of some outside lawyers, agreed that all of these phone records could be "relevant" to an investigation, and therefore, could be collected.They were just spying on you for your own good...
The agency insisted, however, that it would hold these records and tap into them only when it had a "reasonable and articulable suspicion" that a phone number was linked to a suspected terrorist.
But in January 2009, top officials of the intelligence agency learned that about 18,000 phone numbers were on the "alert list" that could subject them to daily monitoring. Of these, about 16,000 had not been shown to be reasonably linked to a terrorist. The agency notified the judges of the mistake and said they were making needed changes in their software that tracked phone numbers.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Phoning It In
It was just a mistake: