Today Senator Feinstein stated that the NSA phone metadata program that collects records on the telephone calls of American citizens includes location information.
Previously, head of the NSA, General Keith B. Alexander, stated that the NSA was not currently collecting call location data under the authority of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It was left open that other authorization could allow for, and be currently used to, collect location data. It was revealed today that in the past a program at least tried to collect this data.
Here’s the Senator, as quoted by McClatchy:
“I’ve listened to this program being described as a surveillance program. It is not. There is no content collected by the NSA. There are bits of data – location, telephone numbers – that can be queried when there is reasonable and articulable suspicion.” [Emphasis: TechCrunch]
So there’s that.
The NSA refused to admit that it had never collected call record data. It was later forced to admit that a program had existed. Now, it claims that, under one element of the Patriot Act, it is not still doing so.
Following that, Senator Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (giving her likely an expanded knowledge set compared to other senators), directly stated that the NSA does track location data.
What odds would you lay that more is going to come out concerning the NSA tracking the location of our every phone call?
In other news, Senator Feinstein today vowed to crush a reform bill in the Senate that would end the phone metadata surveillance program.
Top Image Credit: David Lee