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Conyers Demands ‘Data Mining’ Details

From the DNC’s mouth organ, CNN:

Committee demanding details of NSA data-mining

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A House committee is requesting Justice Department documents on a data-mining project that identified the senders and recipients of calls and e-mails intercepted via the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program.

In a Monday letter, Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to hand over “all opinions, memoranda and background materials, as well as any dissenting views, materials, and opinions” about the data-mining program.

While the Bush administration has acknowledged OK’ing the controversial program in which the government wiretapped phone calls without obtaining a warrant, it has remained mum on whether it authorized the NSA to use computers to sift through databases to identify who participated in intercepted communications. (The computers reportedly do not identify the contents of the communications.)

Critics have said the surveillance program violates a 1978 act requiring a special court’s approval before eavesdropping on communications in intelligence cases.

In his letter, Conyers wrote that his committee is considering changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and therefore must be “fully apprised of these controversial, and possibly unlawful, programs.”

The Michigan Democrat continued, “It is difficult to craft appropriate legislative responses unless we have all of the relevant facts concerning these programs.” …

How many times are the Democrats and their lickspittle slaveys in the media going to go down this road?

It is simply ignorance on parade.

“Data mining” is not eavesdropping under any definition of the word. It is at best “traffic analysis.”

And, as such, is not restricted by any of the laws these ignoramuses like John Conyers (D-Al Qaeda) trot out.

And it certainly does not violate the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) mentioned in the article.

As we have noted often before, act’s own definitions make clear that law speaks only to “content”:

TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1801

§ 1801. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(f) “Electronic surveillance” means—

(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;

(2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;

(3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or

(4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.

But never mind that. It makes for great headlines for the great unwashed.

Though, come to think of it, maybe Mr. Conyers does have some reason to be concerned about anyone monitoring his phone calls.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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