USA's national anthem's lyrics say that America is "land of the free and the home of the brave"; now ironically it is also of the "closely watched" thanks to NSA, which despite Congress limitation, collated 151 million records of phone calls by American citizens last year.
It's disturbing to know that the American dream may just be a modern-day dystopia.
Here's all about it.
America, Big Brother is watching you
42 terrorism suspects, 151 million phone records
The report submitted by the office of the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, showed that the security agency had been given the authority by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to conduct surveillance on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016 and a few from the year before.
However, the NSA went ahead with its agenda and collected 151 million phone records.
It was billions, be thankful that now it's millions
Although, it speaks volumes about the condition of government espionage on its own citizens, there may be solace in knowing that these numbers are a fraction of what used to be, according to a 2014 study, "billions of records per day."
The witch hunt that had started after 9/11 attacks may have had a solid ground but that doesn't justify such a stance, anymore.
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There might have been a goof up
NSA in its half botched attempt to clear the air said that there are heavy chances that the current numbers are prone to duplication, as chances are that a single call was taken into account when one call got submitted by both the telcos handling the call.
The report however didn't clarify on how often it snooped around on Americans while searching for terrorists.
Your conversations are safe, till now
The US National Security Agency usually keeps its information collation spree limited within telephone metadata, phone numbers of the callers, when the calls took place, what was the duration of the call and the information available on the callers.
It is not allowed to and cannot by law keep records of the conversation content, unless it acquires explicit directive from the government.