The media are in their usual pants-on-fire mode reporting the views of Sen. Rand Paul toward the Patriot Act.
But for those who remember a bit of history, the Echelon program existed before the Patriot Act, and undoubtedly still exists.
Echelon was, and probably still is, capable of global interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, email and other data traffic.
So while the NSA might be prohibited from certain activities as a result of this week’s renewal of the Patriot Act, I am certain that the same activity will merely be temporarily shifted to one of our Echelon intelligence partners who is not prohibited by its law from the same activity.
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Robert E. Panoff, Pinecrest