SOD Off! Law Enforcement Using NSA Spying To Go After Ordinary Crimes
Thanks to our longtime reader Damen for directing us to alarming new revelations about the National Security Agency surveillance programs first exposed in June by Edward Snowden.
This news reveals three things that ought to shock Americans silly:
1. NSA electronic surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act is being used to target investigation of Americans for activities conducted solely within the borders of the United States.
2. NSA electronic surveillance is being used by the federal government to spy on Americans in cases that have nothing to do with national security.
3. NSA electronic surveillance is collecting not only metadata, but is gathering the content of emails or telephone calls, and then allowing other government agents to examine that content, without a search warrant, in order to begin criminal prosecutions.
Reporters at Reuters have obtained documents showing that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been given access to the gigantic databases of Americans’ telephone and Internet communications seized by the National Security Agency. The DEA is being allowed to search through the surveillance records, without obtaining any search warrant, in order to launch investigations of Americans involving illegal drugs.
Furthermore, the DEA is directing its investigators to cover their tracks. DEA agents are told to find additional evidence, once an investigation has begun, so that the original source of the criminal investigation can be kept secret, withheld not just from defense attorneys, but from prosecutors as well. Courts aren’t being given truthful information about how these criminal investigations are being conducted.
The program is called SOD. That stands for Special Operations Division.
Here’s some very special about SOD: A former agent, interviewed by Reuters, tried to defend the program by saying, “You’d be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.’ And so we’d alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it.”
Here we have evidence that the military surveillance by the NSA is leading to physical searches of Americans’ by local law enforcement, and that it’s all being done without a proper search warrant.
This statement also shows that the surveillance done by the NSA is not limited to metadata, such as the time of a telephone call, or the subject line of an email. No one would write an email with subject line stating, “Meet Me At The Truck Stop At Exit 20 On Route 350 To Buy Cocaine. I Will Be In A Green Ford Taurus”.
The Obama Administration kept the NSA spying secret from us, lying about what the FISA Amendments Act was being used for. Then, when the NSA surveillance program was exposed, the Obama Administration lied to us about how the spying was conducted.
What reason do we have to trust anything that the Obama Administration has to say about its Big Brother spying programs? Why should we allow these programs to continue, when they been conducted in repeated violation of the Constitution?