Oct 17, 2007

We Want YOU to Give Us Your Phone Records—Way Before 9/11

It's February, 2001. The National Security Agency (NSA, for Nothing's too Secretive or Above our reach) gets its request to QWest turned down—a request to hand over telephone calling records of ordinary US citizens without cause. Without permission. Without a shred of constitutionality. QWest's reward? Retaliation, naturally. They find themselves blacklisted from potential outsourcing contracts that would have made them big money. All of this came out this week (October 2007) during court proceedings against a high-level executive for QWest (Joseph Nacchio).

But wait, the “before-9/11 call record scandal“ also came out back in June of 2007, when court papers were filed in New York Federal Court against the NSA, George Bush, AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth in a Breach of Privacy Case that alleges the violation of
Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the US ("It's just a g*#^!$% piece of paper") Constitution.

What's the NSA's excuse?

The NSA says on its Web site that in June 2000, the agency was seeking bids for a project to “modernize and improve its information technology infrastructure.” The plan, which included the privatization of its “non-mission related” systems support, was said to be part of Project Groundbreaker.

What does Project Groundbreaker mean to the rest of us? That the Bush administration lied to us (for the 10,000th time) when they said it was only after September 11, 2001 that they illegally obtained personal calling records of private citizens. That Uncle Sam is either watching you or would like to do so. Before 9/11, what was the impetus to have all those personal call records? Plans for 9/11, perhaps? Unless more questions are asked—by bloggers and mainstream media alike—will we ever know?

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