Alternet: 3 Shocking Revelations from NSA's Most Terrifying Program Yet.

The meta-data explanation has mow been unmasked as a mega-lie, according to the latest revelations from exiled National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden. When Snowden first disclosed the extent of America's national security state spying on the electronic lives of Americans, the Obama administration led by the president himself said the government was not looking at the details of one's electronic communications, web searches and sites visited. Instead, it was looking at so-called "meta-data" which was akin to a phone bill listing calls but not listening in. On Wednesday, the White House declassified documents remaking that same argument. But Wednesday's disclosure by Snowden, reported by the U.K. Guardian, exposes that spin as a security state lie. The NSA has a computer program, called XKeyscore, that is its "widest-reaching" system for conducting digital dragnets. Screenshot presentations describing its capacities boast that it can trace "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet," including the content of emails, attachments, online searches, websites visited, chats, phone numbers and user data. The 32-page slideshow uses examples of tracking oversees targets, but the software can be used domestically as well. Here are three breathtaking revelations about Snowden's XKeyscore disclosure. 1. Internet privacy is dead. Snowden famously said,"I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to the federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email" address. XKeyscore explains how this can be done. Obviously, the government cannot collect billions of electronic messages and transactions with no smart way to sift through them, including examining them at the most detailed level. XKeyscore is the sifting and storage system for doing so. But technical capacities aside, the bottom line is online privacy is completely dead. The government now can collect dossiers on anyone down to the most intimate details of their lives. In contrast, Wednesday's White House release only concerned the NSA's narrower telephone dragnet. 2. The security state has trumped the Constititution. Snowden's latest revelation begins by saying that any government contractor working for spy agencies can access and use this system. They don't need a search warrant. There is no judicial process to push back. And Congress has enabled that shadow government to grow without checks and balances, which directly conflicts with the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment banning illegal searches and seizures. The Bill of Rights, enshrined the quartet of police search warrants, protection against self-incrimination, trial by jury and the credo of innocent until proven guilty in response to Great Britain's 18th-century abuses of this nature. XKeyscore completely upends those constitutional protections.

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