Craig Newmark, who of course is the craigin craigslist, comments in essence that while the Reagan administration obeyed the law to gather intelligence information on Communists, the current Administration in Washington has been attempting to persuade telephone companies to allow warrantless intercepts of possible terrorist phone calls even before 9/11.
In a separate program, N.S.A. officials met with the Qwest executives in February 2001 and asked for more access to their phone system for surveillance operations, according to people familiar with the episode," Craig writes on the liberal Huffington Post website. "The company declined, expressing concerns that the request was illegal without a court order.
Other N.S.A. initiatives have stirred concerns among phone company workers. A lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Jersey challenging the agency's wiretapping operations. It claims that in February 2001, just days before agency officials met with Qwest officials, the N.S.A. met with AT&T officials to discuss replicating a network center in Bedminster, N.J., to give the agency access to all the global phone and e-mail traffic that ran through it.
Craig then puts a perspective on why these actions- seven months before 9/11, should be regarded as both illegal and wrong.
That is, the illegal stuff started before 9/11, in a period where White House spokes(men) confirmed that they were not concerned with terrorism. See Plan of Attack, by Bob Woodward, and Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke.
Something to think about, for sure.
So what are you thinking about what craigslist founder Craig Newmark is thinking?
Should he stick to online classified ads and leave the intelligence-gathering requests to professionals, or should he speak out more often on what appears to be a pattern in which our online and phone privacy is being increasingly invaded in the name of national security?