Possible Massive Domestic Surveillance Program

Raw Story's linked to a UPI story that, if true, is staggering in its implications. The first few paragraphs:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights.

Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not even allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance.

Neither could he brief the inspector general of the NSA because that office is not cleared to hear the information, he said.
Toward the end of the article, we read this:
Tice was testifying because he was a National Security Agency intelligence officer who was stripped of his security clearance after he reported his suspicions that a former colleague at the Defense Intelligence Agency was a spy. The matter was dismissed by the DIA, but Tice pressed it later and was subsequently ordered to take a psychological examination, during which he was declared paranoid. He is now unemployed.

Tice was one of the New York Times sources for its wiretapping story, but he told the committee the information he provided was not secret and could have been provided by an private sector electronic communications professional.
Is he deluded or dead right and discredited by the DIA? His role in the NSA leak lends credence to his claims.

Just speculating here, but this may be part of what author Robert O'Harrow addresses in No Place to Hide--the use of private contractors to collect massive amounts of data and pass it on to the federal government. Hoover's wet dream.

The rest here.

UPDATE: Air raid sirens should be going off all over the country, this is so serious. The WaPo reports that "the National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials." That's a lot of people. Who are "people who allegedly aid [terrorists]"? This at the same time we learn that the NSA has hired news agencies to provide information, the nature and purpose of which the NSA refuses to disclose. (Via POAC.)

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