Even though Obama has possession of "millions or tens of millions" of Americans' address books and contact lists, not to worry, the administration won't abuse this invasion of privacy.
During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year.
Each day, the presentation said, the NSA collects contacts from an estimated 500,000 buddy lists on live-chat services as well as from the inbox displays of Web-based e-mail accounts.
These programs are creating a government databank system that allows the government to observe and track virtually every contract and association of a person’s life. It is the total awareness system that we thought we had killed under Bush. Of course, it is now Barack Obama creating this security state so Democrats are not just silent but supportive of the effort. He will of course leave office at some point and leave this security system as his legacy. He will be able to claim (if he was willing to admit it) that he left this country less free than he found it. And Democrats will have secured a place of unrivaled hypocrisy if they try to later oppose the same powers in a Republican president.
This bears repeating. We are less free under Obama than under Bush, which was a time when lefties were calling the 43rd president a fascist and Nazi (so... what does that make Barry?) The 44th president is lucky that he has idiots for political opponents.
UPDATE: James Clapper, the DNI who still has a job after lying to Congress, has given us another example of crappy, lousy judgment.
After weeks of planning, the nation’s spy chief sent home nearly three-quarters of the workers at the government’s intelligence agencies when faced with the partial shutdown. The move, James Clapper later admitted himself, put the United States at greater risk of terrorist attacks. He then reversed course and brought thousands of employees back to work.
A review by McClatchy finds that lawmakers, former intelligence officials and national security experts say they were shocked that the administration furloughed the bulk of federal workers at 16 intelligence agencies, many of them tasked with the most important job in the government: safeguarding lives.
“It’s difficult for me to understand,” said Leon Panetta, who served as the director of the CIA and the secretary of defense under President Barack Obama. “People that are involved in our intelligence are critical. You can’t possibly put 70 percent on furlough and not harm national security.”
These are the people whose judgment we're supposed to trust when it comes to surveillance? Rumor is that NSA Director Alexander is stepping down, or getting pushed out.