NSA & FBI Spied On All Emails In Salt Lake City Before & After The Olympics

We’ve already written about the latest NSA bombshell, which came via an article in the Wall Street Journal (which they stupidly put behind their paywall) by reporters Siobhan Gorman and Jennifer Valentino-Devries. But I wanted to focus in on one aspect that hasn’t received very much attention — the revelation that the NSA and the FBI teamed up to read every email and text communication in the Salt Lake City area before and after the Olympics there in 2002:
For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials say, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA arranged with Qwest Communications International Inc. to use intercept equipment for a period of less than six months around the time of the event. It monitored the content of all email and text communications in the Salt Lake City area.
At the time, Michael Hayden was in charge of the NSA, and today he remains one of the staunchest supporters of the NSA’s surveillance, calling its opponents losers who can’t get laid for daring to question the level of unconstitutional surveillance of our communications. Perhaps — just perhaps — he’d like to explain the legal rationale for spying on every digital communication. Sure, sure, this happened soon after September 11th, and I’m sure US officials were worried about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the winter Olympics. But, I don’t recall us turning off the Constitution or ripping out the 4th Amendment just for the Olympics. Perhaps General Hayden, rather than random name calling, could share with us how such a project was possibly anywhere in the vicinity of legal at the time?

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