[It uses] almost-Orwellian technology.
The irony is rich. As Roger Aranoff observes, "...had [this] happened on George Bush’s watch, they could have been calling our government fascist, expressing hyper-outrage, and demanding impeachment."
An investigation by Michael Isikoff of NBC News found that the NSA's unconstitutional domestic data collection programs helped to stop the following number of terror attacks: none.
A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks.
...Under the NSA program, first revealed by ex-contractor Edward Snowden, the agency collects in bulk the records of the time and duration of phone calls made by persons inside the United States.
...But in one little-noticed footnote in its report, ... Section 215, based on the provision of the U.S. Patriot Act that provided the legal basis for it – had made “only a modest contribution to the nation’s security.” The report said that “there has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different” without the program.
The panel’s findings echoed that of U.S. Judge Richard Leon, who in a ruling this week found the bulk collection program to be unconstitutional. Leon said that government officials were unable to cite “a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.”
...The comparison between [the] 702 overseas interceptions and 215 bulk metadata collection was “night and day,” said Stone. “With 702, the record is very impressive. It’s no doubt the nation is safer and spared potential attacks because of 702. There was nothing like that for 215. We asked the question and they [the NSA] gave us the data. They were very straight about it.”
In other words, the Obama administration (yawn) lied to the American people yet again.
Hat tip: BadBlue News