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NSA spying on members of Congress and Senate

21st Century Wire says…

You would be naive to think this wasn’t happening…


Your taxpayer dollars at work again. Now that domestic spying has been deemed legal and lawful by the establishment, what’s to stop them?

Fact: whoever is currently in power can and will use the organisations like the NSA to spy and collect intel on political opponents – and then blackmail those in question. If they can do that with elected officials, then you can bet everyone else is fair game.

Notice the fundamental problems that arise when a monster like the NSA is allowed to grow and function without any real oversight.

It’s Pandora’s Box, and should be shut down altogether…

RT.com

The US National Security Agency likely collects intelligence on congressional lawmakers and members of their staff, a Justice Department official admitted at a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole of the US Department of Justice testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing which was examining proposals to reform the NSA surveillance policies that have been revealed in an ongoing series of disclosures since June. Among the most damning revelations leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was the realization that the NSA indiscriminately forces companies to provide phone records belonging to millions of Americans.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA.) pressed Cole Tuesday on whether the NSA dragnet includes the number codes that pertain to congressional offices.

Mr. Cole, do you collect 202-225 and four digits afterwards?” Issa asked, as quoted by the National Journal.

We probably do, Mr. Congressman,” Cole replied. “But we’re not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat.”

This admission is not the first time members of Congress were given a clue that their activities might be being monitored. Earlier this month, Senator Bernie Sanders – an Independent who represents Vermont – sent a letter to the intelligence agency asking whether democratically elected legislators are being spied upon.

Sanders included in his definition of spying “gathering metadata on calls made from official or person phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business.”

The agency replied to Sanders the next day with a somewhat cryptic response.

NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such privacy protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons,” the NSA stated.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) used the same hearing to suggest that Glenn Greenwald – one of the few journalists who have published details on the Snowden leak – should be prosecuted. Rogers broached the issue multiple times, claiming that Greenwald is selling classified US intelligence secrets to news organizations.

For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it…A thief selling stolen material is a thief,” Rogers said after an exchange with FBI director James Comey.

Greenwald has publicly asserted that he is in possession of a trove of documents leaked by Snowden, with stories based on those documents consistently appearing in international publications over the past six months.

If I’m a newspaper reporter for fill-in-the-blank and I sell stolen material is that legal because I’m a newspaper reporter?” Rogers asked.

If you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry, it’s still a crime,” Comey said reluctantly. He added that the issue of a journalist selling access to information was “a harder question” because of “First Amendment implications.”

READ MORE NSA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire NSA File