On June 27, 26 United States Senators sent a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. The letter called attention to the fact that domestic spying by the United States government on American citizens includes the collection of information on firearms sales. The letter said the following: “And the bulk collection authority could potentially supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases. . . .”
We now know that the NSA and other domestic spying organizations have collected all of our communications information that has been transmitted through phones, emails, and other digital communications media.
We also know that business records have been collected. The Patriot Act authorizes this. The question now is this: How comprehensive has this collection process been? It appears to have been comprehensive to the extreme.
This means that the previous attempts by Congress to restrict the snooping of the government into our personal records has been utterly impotent. It has had no effect whatsoever. The government has collected this information, and it is now stored in government databases.
There is nothing Congress can do to stop this, other than to cut the budgets of the NSA, the CIA, and other surveillance organizations. But these budgets are hidden from Congress. Congress in fact does not even know how large these budgets are. So, Congress is utterly impotent. Yes, 26 members can send an inquiry to the temporary head of intelligence, who is a political appointee. But how much authority does he have to pry information out of these secret organizations? He has no meaningful authority. He cannot fire anybody. He cannot cut their budgets. He is simply a temporary appointment, and his term appointment will end in a few years. The agencies can stonewall him, the same way they have stonewalled every other temporary political appointee. As long as their budgets are intact, they cannot be touched, and their budgets are not even known.
Meanwhile, they have records on every Congressman, every Senator, and every temporary political appointee who supposedly runs the show. Call this bulk blackmail data.
The best we can hope for is this: there is so much information that the snoopers will not be able to have the manpower to follow through on all of the data they have collected. We can forget about the possibility of getting these agencies to erase the data.