News Release

XKeyscore: What Is the Full Scope of NSA Spying?


The Guardian reported yesterday: “XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet.'”

SHAHID BUTTAR, media at, @bordc
Buttar is executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He wrote today: “The latest revelations of NSA domestic spying include new information about the government’s ability to intercept social network communications, email metadata and content, and other online content–all without a judicial warrant.

“Beyond the particular details about XKeyscore … lies a more disturbing implication: neither the press, nor the public, nor even Congress have any idea of the full extent to which the NSA is spying on Americans.

“And if the latest results from the war on whistleblowers is any indication, each of these sectors will remain in the dark going forward, executive abuses will continue to mount, and our system of constitutional checks and balances will creak as executive secrecy continues to impede review from either Congress or the courts. …

“Despite being described by the Washington Post as ‘chief congressional defender of the surveillance program to skeptical colleagues and critics who say it’s Big Brother run amok,’ [Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)] wrote an op-ed in the Post pledging to ‘work with…the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees to consider changes to the NSA call-records program in an effort to increase transparency and improve privacy protections.’ …

“At one point, Sen. Feinstein absurdly claims to ‘know of no federal program for which audits, congressional oversight and scrutiny by the Justice Department, the intelligence community and the courts are stronger or more sustained.’

“The Senator’s self-assurance aside, yesterday’s Guardian article revealed that even corporate contractors were allowed access to real-time social network monitoring with neither executive nor judicial oversight of any kind, not even by the rubber-stamp FISA court. If this is the zenith of transparency across the federal government, it would be interesting to learn what the Senator thinks secrecy looks like.”