User trot-trot on reddit has created a short list of articles that you should read to catch you up to speed on how the NSA has been violating the law and spying on Americans for nearly a decade.  I’ve edited it to make it more readable by removing duplicate links and noting where links have been deleted and no longer work.

(a) “You Are a Suspect” by William Safire, published on 14 November 2002, available at here or here.

(b) “TIA Lives On” by Shane Harris, published on 23 February 2006.

(c) “Total Information Awareness Lives On Inside the National Security Agency“, an interview with Shane Harris on Democracy Now!, 27 February 2006.

  1. (a) Read the interview with John Yoo from “Spying On The Home Front” by FRONTLINE, 10 January 2007, (b) Read the interview with James Baker from “Spying On The Home Front” by FRONTLINE, 2 March 2007. Source
  2. (a) “Remarks by General Michael V. Hayden” delivered at the National Press Club on 23 January 2006, (b) “Former NSA Head Gen. Hayden Grilled by Journalists on NSA Eavesdropping on U.S. Citizens” by Democracy Now!, 24 January 2006.
  3. (a) Source has since been deleted, (b) Source has since been deleted, (c) Source has since been deleted, (d) Oligarchic_tendencies

    Via: Q&A: Senator Ron Wyden on NSA Surveillance And Government Transparency

  4. (a) “CIA’s big data mission: ‘Collect everything and hang onto it forever’” by Stephen C. Webster, published 21 March 2013, (b) “The CIA’s ‘Grand Challenges’ with Big Data” presented by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official Ira “Gus” Hunt at GigaOM Structure:Data 2013 on 20 March 2013.
  5. “Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March [2012] to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens–even people suspected of no crime.Not everyone was on board. ‘This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,’ Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect. . . .. . . Now, NCTC [National Counterterrorism Center] can copy entire government databases–flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans ‘reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information’ may be permanently retained.The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes. . . .”Source: “U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens” by Julia Angwin, published 13 December 2012, or via webcache
    Via: #2 at Source has since been deleted
  6. “. . . At a private meeting with financial industry officials a few years ago, Alexander spoke about the proliferation of computer malware aimed at siphoning data from networks, including those of banks. The meeting was described by a participant who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussion was off the record.His proposed solution: Private companies should give the government access to their networks so it could screen out the harmful software. The NSA chief was offering to serve as an all-knowing virus-protection service, but at the cost, industry officials felt, of an unprecedented intrusion into the financial institutions’ databases.The group of financial industry officials, sitting around a table at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were stunned, immediately grasping the privacy implications of what Alexander was politely but urgently suggesting. As a group, they demurred. . . .”Source: “For NSA chief, terrorist threat drives passion to ‘collect it all,’ observers say” by Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, published on 14 July 2013, Via: #13 at on this comment at reddit.
  7. Cheney’s Law” by FRONTLINE, Via: #5 at on this comment at reddit.
  8. John Cusack & Jonathan Turley on Obama’s Constitution” by John Cusack, published on 20 August 2012.
  9. Utah and the NSA” by Doug Fabrizio, an interview with James Bamford, published on 19 August 2013.
  10. (a) “The NSA never takes ‘no’ for an answer” by Jack Shafer, published on 6 September 2013, (b) “U.S. intelligence community is out of control” by David Rothkopf, published on 2 July 2013, (c) “The Cowboy of the NSA: Inside Gen. Keith Alexander’s all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine” by Shane Harris, published on 9 September 2013.
  11. (a) “The Age of Authoritarianism: Government of the Politicians, by the Military, for the Corporations” by John W. Whitehead, published on 24 May 2013, (b) “Orwell Revisited: Privacy in the Age of Surveillance” by John W. Whitehead, published on 17 June 2013.

As far back as May 2006, the NSA was violating rules on surveillance of the telephone system.  It is only now that, with the help of files obtained by Edward Snowden, that people are starting to pay attention.