Harry: "Well the president, though, said, yesterday: 'We're not listening to phone calls. We're just looking for patterns.'"
Joe Biden: "Harry, I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I'm able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive."
Hat tip to ACLU for posting this, which is where I found it.
Flashback: Biden Agrees Access to Metadata Is 'Very, Very Intrusive' (VIDEO)Of course this was Senator Biden, back in 2006, when most partisans on our side were condemning illegal and unconstitutional domestic surveillance.
In the wake of revelations that the Obama administration is tracking virtually every single phone call of every single American, the administration has trotted out an unsurprising defense: we're not listening to your phone calls, just snatching the metadata!
Senator Biden also didn't talk about geolocation data, which is part of the meta data, so the instrusiveness now includes being able to track you, everywhere you go.
This was before the Obama administration decided to continue and expand such surveillance and to block the attempts to get a court to rule on the legality and constitutionality of the dragnet. They used their state secrets power to do so, which was also something that Democrats rightfully condemned the Bush administration for doing -- abusing state secrets executive power to hide wrongdoing.
Senator Obama tended to agree with Senator Biden. Listen to Senator Obama debating President Obama.
Action: As we all know, that's not even the half of it. There is some good activism going on. Reddit is cooking up RestoretheFourth activities all over the country, and 86 organizations are organizing under the "Stop Watching Us" meme (see below). This is also one of those times when it's well worth your time to be ringing the phones of your representatives and the White House phones off their hooks, mailing, emailing and faxing until it's overflowing. This is one of those times when they are listening and pressure should be effective.
If you don't agree with President Obama, exercise your
1st amendment rights so together we can
save our 4th amendment rights before it's too late.
Stop Watching Us
The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.